Seven tips for winter driving

Seven tips for winter driving

The colder months are upon us and while Australia is renowned for its beaches and sunshine there are still plenty of areas in Australia where winter has a real bite.

That means black ice, sub-zero temperatures, snow, frosts and sleeting rain.

To help you and your car get ready for the winter chill we present our Seven Tips for Winter Driving:

  • For good visibility, make sure that exterior and interior lights work and headlights are properly aimed. Also check to see that heaters, defrosters, lights and wipers work properly. Wiper blades that are cracked or torn, or that chatter, streak and don’t properly clean your windshield, should be changed.
  • Very cold temperatures reduce a vehicle’s battery power so it’s important to keep the connections clean, tight and corrosion-free. Batteries don’t always give warning signs before they fail completely, so if your vehicle’s battery is more than three years old, it’s wise to replace it.
  • Be diligent about changing the oil and filter at recommended intervals. Dirty oil can spell trouble in cold weather. Consider changing to ‘winter weight’ oil if you’ll be driving in a particularly cold climate. Check the fuel, air and transmission filters at the same time.
  • Have the brakes inspected and check the tyre tread depth and your tyre pressures.
  • Rough weather magnifies existing problems such as pings, hard starts, sluggish performance or rough idling, so if you’re due for a tune-up, have it done before the temperatures drop. Also, clean, flush and put new antifreeze in the cooling system and have the exhaust system checked for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed.
  • Keep your cars fuel tank at least half full at all times to decrease the chances of moisture forming in the fuel lines and possibly freezing.
  • Finally, as is always the case, have an emergency kit in your car including items such as jumper cables, torch, blanket and first aid kit.

Got any other winter driving tips? We’d love to hear them and share them with our readers. Send your motoring tips to [email protected] or use the Contact page.

About the author

Kate Richards

Kate has always had an interest in writing and cars and now as a key member of the Behind the Wheel website team she gets to spend her days consumed by both. Aside from being a contributor and an editor at Behind the Wheel, Kate enjoys driving her Lancer EVO and walking her beloved dog, Max!

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