Armstrong Autos | 2012     48 Windsor Walk, Luton, Beds, LU1 5DP ABOUT US HYDRAULIC INJECTOR EXTRACTION DIAGNOSTICS SERVICES CONTACT US
Advice WINTER: Visibility Make sure that all bulbs are working and that lenses are clean. When roads are really mucky you might need to clean lights after every journey. Keep the number plates clean too, as you can be fined if they are dirty and illegible. If you have to clear snow from the car it's important to clear it from the lights - front and back - as well as from the glass and roof. You must use headlights when visibility is seriously reduced. You may also use front or rear fog lights but these must be switched off when visibility improves as they can dazzle other road users and obscure your brake lights. Tyres We recommend at least 3mm of tread for winter motoring, and certainly no less than 2mm. Don't reduce tyre pressures to get more grip – it doesn't work, and reduces stability. It's rare to need snow chains unless you live in an isolated area hit with heavy snow, and where the roads are not cleared. They must be removed to drive on a metalled road without a reasonable covering of snow. Consider changing to winter or all season tyres – these have a higher silica content in the tread which prevents it hardening at lower temperatures, and therefore gives better grip in cold wet conditions. Before you go Get up at least 10 minutes early to give you time to prepare the car. Don't drive off like a tank-commander, with a tiny hole cleared in the windscreen. Clear all windows using a scraper and de-icer. Use a cigarette lighter to warm a key for a frozen lock. Don't breathe on the lock, as the moisture will condense and freeze. Plan routes to favour major roads which are more likely to have been cleared and gritted.
Put safety before punctuality when the bad weather closes in. Allow extra time for winter journeys but be prepared for the inevitability of being late for work due to unexpected delay. Driving in snow and ice Gentle manoeuvres are the key to safe driving - stopping distances are 10 times longer in ice and snow. Wear comfortable, dry shoes for driving. Cumbersome, snow-covered boots will slip on the pedals. Pull away in second gear, easing your foot off the clutch gently to avoid wheel-spin. Up hill -  avoid having to stop part way up by waiting until it is clear of other cars or by leaving plenty of room to the car in front. Keep a constant speed, choosing the most suitable gear well in advance to avoid having to change down on the hill. Down hill -  reduce your speed before the hill, use a low gear and try to avoid using the brakes. Leave as much room as possible between you and the car in front. If you have to use brakes then apply them gently. Release the brakes and de-clutch if the car skids. Automatic transmission - under normal driving conditions (motorways, etc) it's best to select 'Drive' and let the gearbox do the work throughout the full gear range. In slippery, snowy conditions it's best to select '2', which limits the gear changes and also makes you less reliant on the brakes. Some autos have a 'Winter' mode which locks out first gear to reduce the risk of wheel spin. Check the handbook. If you get stuck, straighten the steering and clear the snow from the wheels. Put a sack or old rug in front of the driving wheels to give the tyres some grip. Once on the move again, try not to stop until you reach firmer ground. Safe driving!