The cold is now starting to set in, so here’s what you need to do this winter to reduce the risk of a breakdown and make sure that you are equipped to deal with the conditions.
We are always here to help and can carry out a free check for you if you wish. Call your local branch Today.
Check your car
- Antifreeze – check coolant level regularly and, if required, top-up with a mixture of the correct type of antifreeze. Your garage should check concentration to ensure adequate cold temperature protection.
- Battery – the most common cause of winter breakdowns. A battery more than five years old may struggle in the cold – get it checked and replaced if necessary to avoid the inconvenience of an unplanned failure.
- Fuel – keep at least a quarter of a tank in case of unexpected delay.
- Lights – check and clean all lights regularly to make sure you can see and be seen clearly. Carry spare bulbs.
- Tyres – should have at least 3mm of tread for winter motoring. Consider winter tyres for improved safety. Check pressures at least every fortnight.
- Windscreen – reduce dazzle from the low sun by keeping the screen clean inside and out. Now is a good time to renew worn wiper blades.
- Screen wash – use a 50% mix of a good quality screen wash to reduce the chance of freezing in frosty weather.
- Locks and door seals – stop doors freezing shut with a thin coat of polish or Vaseline on rubber door seals. A squirt of water dispersant (WD-40) in locks will help stop them freezing.
Tyre labelling for passenger cars, vans & light trucks will come into effect from 1st November 2012 under European Regulation (EC) No. 1222/2009.
This new regulation will bring a major advance in consumer information on tyre safety (wet braking) and the tyre’s impact on the environment (rolling resistance and external noise).
The graphics on the label may be familiar as they are already used for household appliances and more recently for new cars, but what are the benefits for consumers?
Compare fuel economy
Use this diagram to see how a tyre performs on fuel consumption.
Fuel-efficiency is graded from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient).
Save up to £110 or 80 litres of fuel over the life of the tyres. That’s for a car fitted with four A-rated tyres driving at 50mph – it uses 7.5% less fuel than with G-rated tyres.
Results can vary with type of car or climatic conditions but the performance gaps are proven.
Compare braking on wet roads
This chart grades a tyre on how well it brakes in wet conditions. Performance scales from A (the safest, stopping in the shortest distances) down to G (least safe, with longest braking distances).
Stop up to 4 car lengths shorter. For a car fitted with four A-rated tyres driving at 50 mph, stopping distance can be up to 18 metres or 30%1 shorter than with G-rated tyres.
Compare external noise level
This diagram shows you a tyre’s noise level in decibels (dB). The 3-wave pictogram tells you
how it rates in relation to future European mandatory limits. Tyre noise heard outside the car doesn’t necessarily relate to what you hear inside the car.
3 black waves = Noisier tyre. Level greater than the future limit but complies with today’s noise regulation
2 black waves = Average tyre. Noise level equal to or below future limit by up to 3 dB (A)
1 black wave = Low noise tyre. Noise level 3 dB (A) or more below future noise limit
3dB doesn’t sound much but it is actually double the noise level!
When choosing tyres
Labelling is a good start, but 3 other performance factors are just as important for you:
Tyre longevity: a longer lasting tyre can cost you less in the long run. The right tyre could give you more than a year of extra driving compared to another tyre.
Road handling performance: 25% of accidents are on bends.
Dry braking performance: 70% of accidents occur on dry roads.
Located near Orpington hospital and only a few minutes walk from the town centre. You can leave your car with us and take a stroll down to the shops while we work on your vehicle.
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Call us, or call in and see us about your requirements, or submit an online booking here on our website. See you soon.