With severe and snowy weather forecast to spread across the UK this week, Volvo is helping drivers to keep safe by sharing some winter driving and car maintenance tips from its experience of harsh Scandinavian winters.
Driving on snow and ice puts both the driver’s abilities and the car’s systems to the test. Volvo tests its cars to operate at -30ºC in a typical Swedish winter, so it’s no surprise that Volvo can offer plenty of experience of winter driving, and of designing cars to cope with a cold environment.
Looking after the car
Your car needs to be in the best condition possible to cope with the extra strain of starting and working smoothly in extra cold conditions.
Make sure the engine has quality coolant that can cope with up to
-35 degrees without freezing.
Try to keep the fuel tank as full as possible to prevent condensation
in the tank and provide the maximum range and running time for the
engine if stuck in snow.
Engine oil with lower viscosity (ie. thinner) makes cold starting
easier and reduces fuel consumption. For winter use 5W/30 oil is
recommended, particularly synthetic types.
Check the state of the battery more frequently as the heater fan
and all the electrical items being used put a greater strain on
the battery – and a poorly charged battery can freeze and
To prevent the windscreen washer fluid, hoses and nozzles from freezing,
and to avoid damage to the washer pump, add washer solvents with
plenty of anti-freeze.
Avoid using de-icing sprays on door locks as they can impair the
locking mechanism. Volvo recommends a Teflon lock spray instead,
available from Volvo dealers.
Volvo dealers offer motorists with any make or age of car the year-round
convenience of a £15 ‘Clean and Check’1 13-point
inspection of the essentials that drivers should (but usually don’t)
check regularly to keep everything working smoothly. In addition,
at this time of year Volvo also offers a more thorough 25-point
‘Winter Check’2 plus a wash and clean for £30.
Published : 29/01/04 Author : Melanie Carter
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