Where has 2021 gone? Winter is fast approaching and the amount of daylight we have been getting in Southampton has dropped. Colder mornings and darker evenings, a stark contrast to our blog back in April.
As with all seasons, it's important to ensure your vehicle is properly maintained to prevent any breakdowns and avoidable costs. So CNB MOTs have decided to put together a short blog on our top 3 tips for vehicle maintenance during the winter season. As always, if you have any questions, just drop us an email and we'd be happy to help you.
The CNB MOTs Winter Season Checklist - Here's a number of practical tips that you can take to ensure a safe and comfortable drive during the winter in Hampshire and beyond:
1. Check your tyres
Checking your tyres at regular intervals is important throughout the year, regardless of the weather. With the winter period, you can come into particularly challenging climates.
Stopping distances can increase significantly in snowy and/or wet conditions. So it's vital that you ensure you meet the minimum tread depth requirements of 1.6mm - but this is bear minimum. We recommend to have at least 3mm of tread depth on your vehicle to ensure you get the best grip for your safety.
For those regularly driving roads in the countryside that are not regularly gritted, think about snow chains. While a big investment, it may be a lot less than the cost of a repair or insurance premium rise.
2. Choose your de-icer weapon of choice wisely
De-icer sprays are the quickest and easiest way to de-ice your vehicle, but this can often come at the cost of the environment. Most de-icer sprays will emit chemicals and byproducts that will contribute towards the greenhouse gases emitted. While it's a minimal contribution, you should always think about all the small things you can do to help in everyday life. If everyone can make small changes, we can make a big difference.
Plan a few minutes ahead and use a good quality ice-scraper. These will last you a while and with a bit of effort, you should be on your way in no time. Plus it has no immediate emission contributions! Just make sure to put the heating on to help ensure you have full visibility before setting off. Never take the risk and drive without full visibility - the risk is not worth saving a minute or two.
2. Choose your de-icer weapon of choice wisely
As the name might give away, antifreeze helps to stop the water in your engine's cooling system from freezing. It's often a coloured liquid that has a mix of water to help regulate the temperature of your engine. Your vehicle can get either too hot or too cold without it, so make sure to check you have enough. Driving without engine coolant is not recommended, it can cause several issues, expensive ones too!
3. Check your brakes and be careful when applying on ice
If you're unlucky enough to be driving on an icy road, it is recommended to drive with extra caution and never exceed the speed limit. You might notice the steering feels lighter and less responsive. You should not panic and remember guidance from the Highway Code. Rule 230 says:
"When driving in icy or snowy weather
drive with care, even if the roads have been treated
keep well back from the road user in front as stopping distances can be ten times greater than on dry roads
take care when overtaking vehicles spreading salt or other de-icer, particularly if you are riding a motorcycle or cycle
watch out for snowploughs which may throw out snow on either side. Do not overtake them unless the lane you intend to use has been cleared
be prepared for the road conditions to change over relatively short distances
listen to travel bulletins and take note of variable message signs that may provide information about weather, road and traffic conditions ahead."
If you need a reminder of the Highway Code and all the tips that will come handy, check out a link to an online version published by the UK Government.
We wish you all a safe journey no matter where you go this Winter, whether in Southampton, across Hampshire or further. We'll be publishing our Christmas and New Year opening times for CNB MOTs Southampton shortly.
In the meantime, if you need any help, feel free to contact CNB MOTs by email or telephone. Remember, you can book your MOT with us online.
About CNB MOTs Southampton
CNB MOTs are dedicated to providing every customer with value for money to ensure the continuous running and safety of each vehicle. It’s our mission to ‘ensure every vehicle in Hampshire is maintained to an excellent standard, helping keep every vehicle, driver, passenger and member of the public safe.’ CNB MOTs are able to provide you with all your car or van needs. Besides our MOT testing for cars (class 4 vehicles), we’re able to conduct computer diagnostics, welding work, vehicle body damage repairs, electrical repairs and car servicing. Our location is based in North Baddesley, Hampshire and we're in close driving distance from the following:
5 minutes from Chandler's Ford Train Station
10 minutes from Eastleigh Train Station
15 minutes from Southampton City Centre
To find out more about our MOT Station and why you should choose CNB MOTs, just visit our website here. Thanks for reading our blog!