Our cars are essential to us every single day, but that dependency goes up another level when the Irish winter weather takes hold. When the sideways rain and sleet are beating down on the windscreen, we are never more thankful for the warm drive to school or work. We count our cosy car blessings when the first snow flutters hit the hills and the daylight hours are short and nippy.
But the weather takes its toll on cars too and It is wise to get make sure that your car is winter ready so that you can cruise through the harshest weather in comfort and safety.
The outside temperature influences the pressure on your tyres and if that temperature changes significantly then the tyre pressure should be adjusted. It is recommended that you increase the pressure in your tyres by 0.2 bar in the winter so that you have best possible road grip. Winter tyres are also an option for the cold and inclement weather of winter. Check with your local tyre provider or mechanic if you have any worries about the correct tyres for your vehicle.
Irish motorists should note that the Gardai have issued a change to one of the major rules of the road. Since the beginning of November 2021, dipped headlights are now required when driving before 5pm, where previously it was 6pm. It is probably wiser and more advisable to drive with dipped headlights at all times during the winter months as visibility is reduced. A bulb can fail at anytime on the car. Sometimes, we won’t notice this until it is too late. Check your lights regularly, and particularly before any long journey to ensure that you are safe and seen. They get dirtier this time of year too, so give them a wee clean too.
The blades of your wipers can become worn and not just annoyingly squeaky, but even dangerous as they fail to clear the windscreen of rain, sleet, and wind debris. Replacement wiper blades are not expensive but can make a world of difference when driving in bad weather. Keep your window washer fluid topped up too. Sometimes, it is the seemingly small things which save lives.
Its is so much easier to face that iced up car with the correct equipment. De-stress your mornings by having De-icer and a safe handy scraper on hand. It makes the wait for the heater to kick in that bit more manageable.
In the unlikely event of an accident or a breakdown, having an emergency warning triangle and a good emergency light or torch will avert further incidents and allow other traffic to navigate past even in the darkest of nights. Like the good boy scout, it makes sense to be prepared.
Check your oil. During cold weather, an engine's motor oil becomes thicker. It flows more slowly through the engine and is harder to pump through the engine block. flows more slowly through the engine and is harder to pump through the engine block. which is weakened in cold weather. To check you oil level, make certain to park your car on level ground for an accurate reading. Turn off the engine and wait about 15 minutes for the engine to cool down and check the levels using the dip stick method.
Driving in wintry conditions takes a toll on us motorists and on our cars, but with a little bit of essential maintenance and planning we should all be driving safely into the warmer summer months. Call into us at Sandyford Motor Centre if you have any concerns about safe winter driving.