Sadly, this is not a blog post about the debauchery and drama of Game of Thrones, a post deliberating is he isn’t he (Jon Snow fans, you know what I’m talking about).
It’s about the other type of Snow. The white stuff, which, according to my weather fanatic husband, is really coming this week. I’m sceptical, as always.
Winter has so far, been mild and damp to say the least. The warmest Christmas I can remember in fact. So the normal stresses and kerfuffles of getting around in the Winter haven’t really hit…yet. I can’t actually recall having to do the windscreen with a broken CD case on the school run so far this season?
As driving, and cars go, sadly I’m rather useless.
Possibly my lowest automotive moment was the impulse purchase of a second hand White Vitara Suzuki jeep in my early twenties. Soft top of course, complete with pink flash across the sides. The salesman told me someone else was interested, so I was in the building society, quick as you can say 30% APR with a loan I literally, paid the price for, and a car which Barbie herself would have been proud of. The car, sadly, lasted 6 weeks…it was quite frankly a piece of shite that cost more to run than a tank, and I couldn’t get the roof off myself anyway. Clearly, not the best approach to choosing a car, and a financial life lesson if ever there was one.
I think that taught me a thing or two about buying cars, but my maintenance knowledge has remained pretty non existent. I have been known (albeit in my first car, aged 17) to pull on the wrong lever of the boot pop-open thingy, and rip out the relay circuit from the dash. Well they told me to pull harder?
I have as I’ve got older, taken to having my car serviced regularly – at least annually, or as the mileage warrants, so I have some reassurance that our current car is road safe. Stepping into parenthood definitely made me reassess my prioritisation of vehicle upkeep, to avoid a kids in car breakdown situation at very least.
During our last service, by the main dealer, we were told our Tyres were within spec, but reccommended we changed them. After a quick phone call to the father in law, and a second opinion at an independent Tyre fit shop locally, we were advised they’d be good a little longer. They ain’t cheap, so without wanting to be cheapskate, we also didn’t want to be fleeced out of another couple of months wear.
So, we chatted this week about getting it sorted soon. In fact, very soon, as one thing that doesn’t mix with worn tyres is ice, and a car full of kids.
As luck would have it, simultaneously I was asked by Point-S to check out their online Tyre buying service (here). It couldn’t have come at a better time as we were literally on the case the day the e mail arrived. If you aren’t sure what tyres you need, you can just pop in your Reg details and postcode and the site directs you to local dealers, and reserves stock – you can even book an appointment. For me, sadly my experience ended there as the nearest retailers weren’t so near. But I would definitely have taken the process further if I could.
Point-S couldn’t provide me with the Tyres this time, but they have provided me with these winter driving tips, which I’d like to share with you. Travel safe in the big freeze guys…
– Even a mild winter can cause more wear and tear on cars than other seasons. Indeed, driving in the winter requires more attention to be paid to driving technique as well as maintenance. Make sure that you remain safe on the road in mid-winter, as well as keeping your car in good roadworthy condition, by following these tips.
– Grease and muck builds up in winter from slushy snow and from leaves which have not fully rotted since autumn. Therefore, you should keep your screen wash filled up and ensure that your windscreen wiper blades are in good condition.
– Back off. Driving in winter means needing to allow more room between yourself and the car in front. Heavy rain, more likely in winter, means you need twice as much space to be able to stop properly. In snow and ice, you may need even more room, so also check your brake pads. Remember that snow hides debris and potholes in the road, so you also need more visual space ahead of you to spot problems.
– Keeping an emergency kit in the back of your car is advisable, especially if you are going to be driving in inclement weather or over high ground. Exposed areas tend to suffer the most from wintry weather. RoSPA recommend having boots, a tow rope, a blanket and a torch as well as things like a first aid kit and spare warm clothes.
– Ensure that your car can keep proper traction with the road by double-checking your tyres’ tread depth. Consider fitting winter tyres if you need to drive on iced-over roads, if you are not sure which tyres to fit for wintry driving, get in touch with your nearest Point S tyre depot.
– Batteries really take a lot of use in winter. Run electrical services for as little as possible, especially when you are engaged on short journeys when the battery won’t get a chance to recharge. Turn off the radio and air conditioning