WAKING to find your car entombed in snow and ice can be the last thing you need on your way to work, only to find later in the day you've damaged your car clearing it away.
As Britain braces itself for a week of weather more suitable for sleighs, we look at what you can do to prevent damage to your car in this adverse weather.
How should you remove snow from your car without scratching it?
It's time for work and you step outside your home to see that your car looks like some sort of giant snowball, what to do now?
Firstly, check there are no blockages in the exhaust pipe as this can prevent toxic fumes from filling your car.
Switch on the engine and activate the front and back windscreen heaters.
It normally takes around 5 minutes to clear the windscreen so in the meantime, you should remove the snow from the roof, bonnet and other areas.
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Make sure you also remove all snow and ice from your mirrors, headlights, taillights, and indicator lights too.
Whilst the windscreen is defrosting, you should ensure that the windscreen wipers are free of snow and ice.
It’s also important to check the wiper fluid nozzle is not frozen up.
Believe it or not but a small needle pushed into the nozzle can free it up to allow for the fluid to flow freely.
The best combination for clearing your car is to use a snow brush and ice scraper.
Avoid using a household brush as the bristles can scratch the car paintwork.
Check your route to see if any further snow is expected.
When should you remove snow from your car?
It is important to completely clear your vehicle before you set off on your journey.
While it isn't against the law to drive a vehicle with snow on it, if it does slip off the car into the path of another vehicle, is classed as 'driving without due consideration' which can carry penalty points and a heavy fine.
The Highway Code states the following must be adhered to in adverse weather conditions:
- You MUST be able to see, so clear all snow and ice from all your windows
- You MUST ensure that lights are clean and number plates are clearly visible and legible
- Make sure the mirrors are clear and the windows are demisted thoroughly
- Remove all snow that might fall off into the path of other road users
- Check your planned route is clear of delays and that no further snowfalls or severe weather are predicted.
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How do you prepare your parked car for snow?
There are many things you can do to prepare for a cold snap when it comes to your car, even without the luxury of a garage to park it in overnight.
- Stand up your wiper bladesAs simple as this sounds, standing them up when you park your car in snowy conditions can be a great help, making de-icing the windscreen a much easier task.
- Use a windscreen protector This can eliminate the need for de-icing the windscreen completely.
- Be careful where you park Parking under structures or even trees can open your car up to an avalanche of snow falling onto it.
- Avoid parking on slopes when possibleThis can cause you vehicle to slide downhill in icy conditions.
- Carry a portable jump-starter or jumper cables in your carThis can be a life-saver if you experience a flat battery because of the cold weather or you may be able to assist another road-user.
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