Top tips to keep your car on the road this winter

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So apparently according to the met office, the temperature is set to plummet. It’s a common fact that the number of breakdowns nearly doubles during particularly cold spells, as Jeremy Holden, Director of Holden Classic & Vintage said “Winter conditions put extra strain on your car, and just a few minutes spent on some simple checks now can save a lot of trouble later. Battery failures are the commonest single cause of winter breakdowns. If the car is increasingly hard to start and the engine slow to turn on the starter motor, especially first thing in the morning, chances are the battery is on the way out.”

Here at Holden, we thought we would share with you some of our top tips, to not only save you money, but help protect you and your car during the nippy spell.

  • Make sure the antifreeze concentration in the cooling system is adequate – if there has been a leak and you’ve been topping up with plain water it may not be.

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  • Use a screen wash additive with antifreeze properties (not engine antifreeze). If the liquid in the washer bottle freezes it may split the reservoir or damage the pump.

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  • Warm (not boiling!) water is OK for defrosting windows, but watch where it runs – it could form an ice slick when it freezes.
  • Make things easier for the battery by not switching on headlights, heater blower or heated rear window until the engine is running. Similarly, switch off lights etc before stopping the engine. Switch off the heated rear window as soon as the screen is clear.
  • Consider fitting a set of winter tyres. They really do make a difference. Some tyre retailers will store the summer tyres for you in winter, and vice versa.
  • There’s no point in keeping lock de-icer inside the car. Frozen door locks can sometimes be freed by blowing into them – but be careful not to get your lips stuck to the car!
  • Winter grade diesel can cope with temperatures down to -15º C. If lower temperatures are expected, use an anti-waxing additive in the fuel tank
  • When parking overnight in freezing conditions, leave the car in gear and the handbrake off if it is safe to do so. This will prevent the handbrake freezing in the ‘on’ position.
  • Stop wiper blades freezing to the screen by propping them up on slices cut from a cork when you park for the night.
  • Don’t get caught short in the snow – carry a set of snow socks or snow chains in your boot to set your mind at ease.

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We also recommend you carry these other items just in case:

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