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Plan for trouble-free winter motoring

Don't end up like this
Don't end up like this

PREPARING for snow and ice on the roads is probably not in the forefront of most motorists’ minds yet, but Green Flag Motoring Assistance is urging them to prepare their vehicles now to avoid being taken unawares by the unpredictable British weather.

Last winter Green Flag responded to over 900,000 calls for assistance, with January 6 being the busiest day as people returned to work after Christmas. Flat and faulty batteries were the biggest culprits, responsible for more than 40,000 breakdowns.

Green Flag spokesman Nigel Charlesworth said: “We put a lot more strain on our cars during the cold weather, particularly on the battery, with heaters, lights, de-misters and wipers all taking their toll. Nobody wants to break down, particularly in cold weather, so it is vital motorists plan ahead.”

Get ready for winter motoring here with Green Flag’s help.

October to November

* Give your car a treat by booking it in for a winter service to ensure it is in peak condition.

* Check your car’s wiper blades are in good condition.

* Make sure your screenwash, oil and water are at the recommended levels.

* Check the anti-freeze content in the washer reservoir and cooling system.

* Ensure your tyres are in good condition. The minimum legal tyre tread is 1.6mm. (Do not forget to check the spare.) Make sure their tyre pressure is correct too.

* Faulty batteries are the number one cause of breakdowns. Have yours checked before the cold weather sets in. Many garages offer checks free of charge.

* Ensure you have appropriate breakdown cover so that your car is covered in the event of a breakdown.

December to February

In the depths of the British winter, take precautions in case of a breakdown.

* Keep the petrol tank at least half full during the winter to prevent moisture from freezing in the petrol line.

* Pack some essentials when the cold snap sets in. If you have to travel in severe weather, ensure your car contains warm blankets, de-icer and scraper, shovel and anti-skid mat (or piece of carpet) in case you get stuck in the snow.

* Take on board sturdy boots, a first-aid kit, some water and a chocolate bar in case you become stranded.

* Ensure all the lights are all working and keep them clean for good visibility.

* Have the number of your breakdown organisation stored in your fully charged mobile phone.

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