Winter Driving Tips
What things should I look out for on my car?
Just a few simple daily and weekly observations can potentially save you, your family or a co-worker major vehicle repairs. It could also save a friendship!
No-one likes cleaning oil stains from their driveway, especially when it’s a visitor!
Visual – If you tend to park your vehicle in the same place most days, look on the ground occasionally when you move the car. If there are oil marks or patches of green or red fluid, it’s time to check the oil and water. This is critical. Modern vehicles can be quite unforgiving and a small water leak, left unchecked, can lead to the need for major repairs.
Remember it is not usual for any vehicle to use water/coolant, unless its windscreen washer water/fluid.
Tyres – Take an occasional walk around your vehicle to ensure the tyres are correctly inflated and in good condition with no wear on the shoulders. Tyre pressures should be checked at least every six months. Correct pressure will vary from one vehicle to the next – give us a call if you need to know the correct pressure for your car tyres.
How to clear a foggy windscreen
Over the cold and damp winter months, it’s only a matter of time until you come across the dreaded foggy windscreen. Nothing is more frustrating than jumping in your car, only to find a strong mist has taken away your ability to see straight.
So, what’s the science behind it all? The cause of your windscreen fogging up comes down to the water vapour in the atmosphere that occurs when your body heats the air inside the cabin (as does your breath) increasing the amount of moisture it can hold.
This means when it comes into contact with your windscreen it cools and condenses, forming a mist.
Here are some tips and tricks on how to combat the mist to ensure maximum visibility.
The best techniques
If your car has air conditioning, make sure it is switched on. Whether it be in the dead of winter when it’s cold outside or in the heat of the summer, your car’s air conditioner does more than just cool the interior air.
Not only does it act as a method of cooling the passenger cabin, but it doubles as a dehumidifier.
If you want to be more comfortable, use the heater. Start the heater off cold, then slowly increase the temperature as the air dries out, rather than overloading the cabin with hot, “wet” air. Make sure the heater’s blast is directed at the windscreen.
If you don’t have air conditioning, then you’re going to have to use your windows. Wind the windows down fully. This helps because the dry, cold air from outside can help reduce the amount of water vapour inside the car, stopping the screen misting up.
What NOT to do
The typical response in the old days was to furiously rub the screen with your sleeve or cloth to remove some of the condensed water vapour. Does it work? Sure, but it’s more of a short term gain as the windscreen can mist straight back up again. Also, using your hand on the glass can smear the natural oil from your skin on to the windscreen making it even worse.
Some people think winding down the window 2cm will do the trick ...... not the case. You’ll only let in more cold, moist air into the cabin making that mist impossible to clear. For the windows down trick, you’ll need to be staunch and wind those windows all the way down to let in a strong breeze.
Rain-X Anti-Fog (available from most auto parts suppliers) prevents interior fogging before the problem begins. It’s an effective solution that also cleans at the same time and is even able to remove smoke residue from the inside of your windscreen.