Check your vehicle before you leave
The tire pressure - this must be higher if the vehicle is heavily loaded (see the vehicle manual). Remember to check the pressure of the spare tire before you go on holiday.
The lights - Check whether the front, side and rear lights, the indicators and the headlights work well and are free from snow.
The tire grooves - get your tires changed if the profile depth is less than 3mm on winter tires
The fluids - check the gauges for cooling fluids on a regular basis and also check the oil gauge. Don’t forget, you can perform those actions only when the engine is cold.
Prepare your vehicle
Anti-freeze: fill the windscreen washer reservoir and the cooling system of your vehicle with liquid anti-freeze.
Protect your windscreen: place protection on your windscreen to reduce the chances of a frozen windscreen.
Handbrake: in the event of overnight frost, do not use the handbrake on a flat road or a gentle slope. Engage the first or the rear gear instead. In this way, you will avoid blocking the brake.
Winter tires: make especially sure that your vehicle is fitted with winter tires. They are performing better when the temperatures is lower than 7 degrees Celsius.
Remove the snow and the ice from the windscreen and windows, the mirrors, the roof and the lights on your vehicle. Shake the snow off your shoes to lower the chances of your feet slipping on the pedals.
Use a plastic ice scraper or a defrosting spray to remove ice from your windscreen and windows. Make sure you always keep it with you , just in case your door freezes shut, and you can’t get into your vehicle.
Check the battery because often is the cause of engine-start-up problems when temperatures are cold. Have your battery checked in due time and replace it as necessary. If you do have problems starting your car, make sure you turn off everything that’s unrelated to starting the vehicle, such as the radio and the lights.
The right way to start your engine - it’s better to make several short attempts to start than a single long one. An attempt that lasts too long may damage your battery.
1-Warming up your engine: There is little benefit to warming up your engine before driving. Even in freezing temperatures, your engine will be properly warmed up after just a few kilometers.Leaving the vehicle standing still with the engine idling just accelerates wear-and-tear on the engine while hurting the environment. It’s better to start the engine and begin driving immediately at a sensible speed
2-Pressing the accelerator when starting the engine: For the new vehicles if you give the engine gas when you start it, you disrupt the electronic fuel injection and ignition process
3-Using warm water to defrost the windows and windshield: The temperature difference is enough to crack the windshield. And the water you pour on the windows can freeze.
4-Using windshield wipers to remove ice: This damages your windshield wipers and leaves mush you can’t see through all over the windshield!
5-Forcing the doors open: Are your doors stuck? Don’t pull on them because you’ll tear the rubber loose. Instead, push your doors in.
Turn on your low beam headlamps when you’re driving. They are brighter than daytime running lights. Plus, when your headlamps are on, the rear lights turn on and make your vehicle much more visible.
No cruise control - when you’re driving in winter weather, you always need to be in complete control of your vehicle. So, don’t use the cruise control.
Drive safe! Keep a distance from the vehicle in front that’s appropriate for your speed and braking distance, limit your use of the accelerator, brake and clutch, avoid sudden steering movements and keep your revs low. Test the condition of the road surface. Drive at low speed and carefully check how slippery it is.
Leave a larger distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you. The braaking distance on a slippery road surface is twice as long as on a dry one.
How do you brake on a slippery road surface?
If you don’t need to brake hard, place light pressure on the brakes while changing down gears (if you have manual transmission). Hard, sudden steering or braking maneuvers are certainly not advised.
Slipping? Press the clutch in and dodge!
If you feel your vehicle slipping, immediately press the clutch in. This allows your vehicle to regain grip. Softly release the clutch so that you regain control. The natural reflex is to look at possible obstacles that you might hit, but it’s best to always look at the place or opening that you want to drive towards.
Braking in an emergency stop
All vehicles manufactured since 2003 are fitted with abs. Thanks to this anti-lock braking system, you no longer need to worry about pushing the brake pedal in with full force. The pedal may begin to vibrate: it’s the abs system beginning to work. You can keep pushing on the pedal.
Unforeseen issues may occur, but it's important to act calmly
Disclaimer: All the information presented in the above article are provided only for information and ALD Automotive will not asume any legal responsibility regarding the undertanding and aplicability of those tips.