Preventative advice for motorists ahead of the next arctic blast

With many parts of the UK set for a short respite from the arctic weather of the last two weeks, RAC is recommending that motorists spend a few moments to check over their cars in preparation for Christmas getaways.

RAC's Patrol Ambassador of the Year, Alan Wilcock offers some advice for motorists to protect their cars against long term damage to bodywork and carry out some simple maintenance tasks.

"During the adverse weather of the last couple of weeks, the salt and grit played an important part in keeping traffic on the move.  However, both of these can corrode a vehicle's paintwork as well as promoting the formation of rust – in particular on the front and rear wheel arches which in turn can spread to other areas of the bodywork.  Older vehicles are particularly vulnerable.

"With slightly warmer temperatures this weekend it would be a really good time to give your car some TLC and wash off some of the winter grime.  Some car washes are also able to wash the area underneath the vehicle which can help prevent corrosion in this difficult to reach area.

"The condition of the roads has deteriorated because of the cold weather, causing the number of potholes to increase.  Potholes are hazardous for all vehicles - particularly on poorly lit and rural roads.  Everyone needs to make sure their lights are clean and bright to keep an eye open for any debris that may have found its way onto the roads."

With a further blast from the arctic expected next week, RAC advises motorists make the following checks:

  • Top up screenwash and ensure there is still sufficient antifreeze in the coolant
  • Check tyre condition to ensure there is adequate tread, look for damage such as splits or bulges and check pressure.  If you live in an area particularly at risk of further snow consider purchasing winter tyres or snow socks
  • Check the wiper blades for damage and replace if necessary.  When wiper blades become frozen to glass it is very easy to damage them when freeing them up
  • Charge/top up batteries if possible – particularly if the vehicle is primarily used for short journeys
  • Ensure everything is switched off when you end your journey including lights, heater, fan, heated rear windscreen, radio etc – every volt is precious first thing in the morning!
  • Keep a squeezy bottle or similar in the car filled with screenwash with additive just in case the washer system ices up whilst driving
  • Remember to clear any residual snow/ice from both front and rear lights
  • Inject appropriate antifreeze into locks if frozen – or use WD40 or similar
  • Use a little silicone polish on the rubber door seals – it helps prevent doors getting stuck when it freezes