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Blog / Maintaining Your Car / The Car People busts the worst winter driving myths

Written by : Saffron Wilson

Published on:: 21/12/2018

The Car People busts the worst winter driving myths

A lot of people dread having to drive their cars in the winter, because frankly, us Brit’s don’t do it enough to keep us confident!

On top of that, there are all the myths about winter car maintenance to contend with, and some of them are surprisingly hard to spot amidst all the other advice.

To help you out, we’ve busted 8 of the silliest tips that we’ve come across:

If your engine is cold, (despite the name) we can guarantee it won’t be the fault of coolant. Coolant is made up of a mixture of anti-freeze and water which actually stops all the vital liquids from freezing in your engine. This in turn would expand and cause some costly damage.

There are other myths around what to replace or add to coolant in cold weather. But you should know that the only thing you should be putting in the coolant reservoir is coolant!

You may have seen this with glasses/cups in your own home. But if you drastically heat up something that is very cold, it is likely to crack, smash, and in the case of your windscreen, result in a bill at the garage.

The quickest and safest way to clear your windscreen from ice is to douse it with de-icer and crack out the ice scraper!

If you see screws, nails, tears or bulges in your tyres, then you will need to get them replaced ASAP. Purposely screwing in screws into tyres will actually make traction a lot worse as you’re essentially puncturing them! 

If you’re looking to increase traction during the winter, why not invest in some winter tyres?

If you were conquering the Antarctic then deflating your tyres might help a tad, but for British winter weather, this is more likely to be a hindrance than a help.

Never let your tyres go completely flat (understandably this cannot be helped if you have a puncture!) and check them regularly. You’ll find the right tyre pressures for your vehicle in the handbook – this is the optimum pressure in wind, rain and snow too.

Again, if you’re looking to increase traction during the winter, why not invest in some winter tyres?

It’s likely you will only have a thin layer of ice on your windscreen, certainly not enough to warrant the sandpaper approach! The sandpaper will almost instantaneously scratch the glass underneath the ice, and you will have to replace the entire windscreen.

Like oil, bulbs, and spark plugs, things will need to be replaced on your car inevitably to keep you on the move. Windscreen wipers are also an item that will need replacing regularly.

They are not expensive to change, and trying to extend the life of them can be dangerous too!

It doesn’t matter if you have a 4 wheel drive Land Rover or a 2 wheel drive Smart Car, you will have to drive carefully in wintery weather. Admittedly, 4-wheel-drive can give you more traction in adverse conditions, but if you don’t drive carefully, then there is a limit to the help it can give.

The nature of WD40 is to loosen and lubricate - two things which you definitely don’t want your brakes to do! Putting WD40 on your brakes will make them ineffective, it’s best to keep your brakes clean with soap and water.

If you’re a little concerned about what the winter weather might bring you behind the wheel, then check out a few cars that are already winter ready.

Why not take one for a test drive at one of our stores in Wakefield, Warrington, Manchester and Sheffield?

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