Winter Motoring Myths - Fact or Fiction
Winter weather can be unpredictable. We’ve all had a frozen windscreen and wondered whether it is safe to pour hot water on it…or not. We have taken some common motoring myths and busted them so that you can stay safe and keep your car in tip top condition.
- Let your tyres down slightly to gain more traction
Fiction! This can damage the tyre and be extremely dangerous. It is recommended to use winter tyres which are designed to behave more reliably at lower pressures and also push water away from the tyre more efficiently than standard or summer tyres.
- Pour hot water on your windscreen to clear ice and frost
Fiction! Pouring hot or boiling water onto a frozen windscreen can cause it to crack. Not to mention the dangers of carrying a boiling kettle of water over an icy driveway. Either fit a frost screen cover or use a high quality screen de-icer.
- Opening frozen windows can damage the motors
Fact! Forcing your windows open when they are frozen to the seal can damage them. Even a cheap de-icer can be ineffective. The use of a night before de-icer is a good idea, as this stops freezing before it happens. Pre-heating your car can help, as the windows will naturally free themselves up with the radiant warmth of the car interior. Whatever you do, do not just pour hot or boiling water on them!
- Extend the life of wiper blades by applying vinegar
Fact! If your wiper blades are in good condition and relatively new, yet leaving streaks and marks, then wiping them with a cloth that has been soaked in vinegar can help return them to their former glory. That said, this is not a substitute for purchasing a new set of wiper blades when they are required, especially during winter months when they are taking a hammering. Worn wiper blades can do more than just limit visibility, they can also damage your windscreen.
- Turning off your engine when in traffic will save you money on fuel
Fact and Fiction! Whilst you can save money by turning off your engine when sat in queues of traffic, it does not always make sense to do so…and winter is one of those times. If you are lucky enough to have a vehicle with Start/Stop technology, then the vehicle will determine if it is sensible and safe to turn off the engine. They do not always do so, based on things such as the charge in the battery and whether heating is on in the vehicle etc. If you are vehicle does not have Start/Stop technology, then only if you’re sure you will be sat motionless for maybe a minute or two, is it worth turning off the engine, and only then if you are sure you have a good charge in your battery. So, yes, doing so CAN save you money on fuel, but could also leave you with a flat battery and having to call out your Breakdown Cover provider