Car Tips: Driving in Winter
- Keep the essentials for survival with you at all times in case of an emergency.
- Reduce your speed and make use of your headlamps and fog lamps when driving in bad visibility.
- On slick roads, it is important to use modest throttle, brake, and steering movements.
As the winter sets in India, the weather might be nice in some areas while being unpleasant in others, which can have a variety of effects on daily living. Because of the sudden shift in the weather, you should take a few extra precautions to keep your vehicle safe.
Continue reading to find out how you can have safe and comfortable driving throughout the winter months.
Car maintenance suggestions for the winter
The most fundamental of demands is to keep your car in good working order. Maintain it on a regular basis, and don't skimp on replacing parts that exhibit signs of wear and tear that exceed the industry norm. This will help to minimize the likelihood of a car breakdown.
Make sure to clean it thoroughly
To maintain good visibility, clean all of the windows, wing mirrors, and light units (headlights, taillights, fog lamps, and others) using lukewarm water to ensure they are all clean.
It is not recommended to use hot water because the temperature difference may cause the glass to break. Remove any snow that has formed on the roof of your car if you live in a snowy climate so that it does not slide into the windscreen and hinder your view while driving.
Give the electrical system a check-up
All of the lights, both outside and within the vehicle, should continue to function appropriately. The climate control system must be in good working order in order to maintain a comfortable temperature in the cabin.
In order to maintain the windscreen clear of snow and debris, the wiper blades should be replaced as needed and the motor serviced. Maintaining a full tank with the proper mixture of water and washer fluid is an important part of maintaining your wipers in operating order.
Check the engine's performance
Cold weather can have an adverse effect on the operation of the battery and cause difficulty while starting the engine. If the battery is old, it should be replaced, and all of the cables and leads should be checked.
Because lower temperatures can cause fluids to become clogged, it is also a good idea to check and replace the engine oil and coolant as needed.
Brakes need to be checked
As a result of driving in wet or snowy weather, it is important to have the brakes thoroughly cleaned and repaired. Check the brake pads and replace them if necessary, as well as clean and grease the brake calipers if necessary.
Keep an eye on the tyres
Apart from ensuring that your tyres are in good condition (with appropriate tread and no cuts or bubbles), you need also ensure that they are properly filled as well. Overinflation increases the likelihood of skidding when driving in slippery circumstances, but underinflation will result in insufficient traction when driving in slick weather.
Make the switch to winter or snow tyres, or even the usage of snow chains; practice putting them on your tyres so that you don't get flustered when you need to use them in an emergency. Winter or snow tyres are available for purchase at most auto parts stores.
Winter driving fundamentals
Driving in slick circumstances – which might be caused by ice, water, debris, or an accident – can be dangerous and time-consuming. When using the accelerator, brake, and steering, it is important to remember to be gentle so that sudden movements do not cause the vehicle to skid or lose control.
If your car does skid on a rough piece of road, the most important thing to do is to remain cool and keep your eyes on where you want to drive. Then, turn the steering wheel in the direction of the skid; for example, if the rear end is stepping out to the right, turn the steering wheel to the right to straighten the car out of the ditch.
Increase vehicle speed gradually when starting from a stop; do not over-rev the engine in the lower gears because traction is less than typical. It is also possible to explore starting in a higher gear, such as second, if your vehicle has sufficient torque; however, you must exercise caution to avoid damaging your clutch.
Some automatic transmissions offer a winter/snow mode that allows the vehicle to start in a higher gear, preventing the wheels from spinning. A number of automobiles are equipped with winter/snow engine modes, which reduce torque and gradually increase power output.
Avoid abruptly changing direction, slowing down, or accelerating when in the middle of a curve. Instead, you should brake heavily before entering the bend and accelerate as soon as you have exited it.
Fog is created by cold weather, and driving in it necessitates the use of special precautions. Accelerate at a slower pace while employing your fog lamps and low beam headlights.
Driving at higher speed results in excessive reflection on the fog and will only serve to strain your eyes further. Maintaining a safe distance between you and the car in front will provide a cushion in the event of a sudden stop.
Additionally, in some parts of India, the formation of "black ice" (a thin layer of ice that forms over the road as a result of the melting and re-freezing of water) is a possibility. Road surfaces that appear glossy or shiny should be avoided at all costs, despite the fact that they are difficult to detect.
Driving downhill on a slick road necessitates maintaining a constant, modest pace throughout the journey. Instead of riding the brakes, use them sparingly and combine them with engine braking to keep your speed under control.
This can be accomplished in a manual vehicle by shifting into a lower gear, and it can also be accomplished in some automatic vehicles that have manual control. In addition, there are modes available that will prohibit the automatic gearbox from upshifting when necessary.
Excessive braking or feathering the brake pedal on a regular basis might cause the system to overheat and eventually fail.
Winter driving emergency essentials
There are times when there is no way out of a jam. Mother Nature may simply be having a terrible day, or your car may experience an unexpected breakdown as a result of an unknown issue. As a result, it is recommended that some basics be stored in the vehicle in case the worst-case scenario occurs.
Maintain your warmth, get some fresh air
In the event of a breakdown, having a full tank of gas will be beneficial. While you're waiting for assistance to arrive, you might turn on the air conditioning to keep yourself warm inside the vehicle.
However, keep in mind that you should not be doing it in a basement, garage, or shed, or even in the open all of the time. It is possible for the HVAC system to introduce dangerous and deadly gases, such as carbon monoxide, into the cabin if the engine is left running at idle.
Due to the fact that it is a colorless and odorless gas, you will not be aware that you are being poisoned. If your temperature control system malfunctions, or if you are unable to operate it, keep some blankets or warm clothes in your vehicle.
Food and water are essential
While you're waiting for assistance, some nibbles and plenty of extra water can be beneficial. A small snack will ensure that cooler heads will prevail, and the water will keep you from being dehydrated.
Necessaries: chargers and battery packs
If your vehicle breaks down at the same time as your mobile phone's battery runs out of power, you'll be in a tight spot. Keep a spare battery in the car, as well as a fully charged battery pack and a spare charger, in case of emergency.