Are Keynsham motorists geared up for more cold weather?

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By Rebecca2009 | Monday, December 06, 2010, 14:08

With more severe cold weather forecast for this week, are you sure your car won't let you down? And would you be prepared if it did break down or you got stranded?

You should always make sure your vehicle is properly serviced and well maintained but this especially so in winter so it's worth getting a local garage to give your vehicle the once-over.

In Keynsham we have Advanced Vehicle Services in Unity Road, Bristol & Bath Car Services in Pixash Lane, and Keynsham Service Centre in Broadmead Lane. Where do Keynsham people recommend?

You should replace your car's battery every three to four years, but if you suspect it won't survive the season, or that your tyres are not as safe as they should be for these freezing weather conditions, head for Kwik Fit in Ashton Way, Keynsham. They are open seven days a week and offer free break and battery checks.

For car maintenance accessories, such as scrapers, de-icer, screenwash and car covers there's Carquip in Charlton Road.

Getting your car ready for winter

Here's a quick check list:

The AA recommends at least 3mm of tread on your tyres for winter motoring, and certainly no less than 2mm. Tyres should be inflated to the pressure recommended by the manufacturer.

A 50-50 mix of anti-freeze and water in the cooling system is needed in winter. A good rule of thumb is to get your anti-freeze replaced every two years. But beware, the AA says the majority of modern cars use long-life antifreeze, and it is essential that you don't mix these with other types as this can cause a sludge in the engine. If you're not sure what type of antifreeze is in your car, take it to a dealer.

Check your oil and windscreen washers.

Check your brakes, lights, wipers and battery are working properly.

If you don't have a garage it's worth getting a cover for your car. It'll protect the paintwork and you won't have to scrape ice off the windows.

Do you really need to travel?

If the answer is yes:

Check your route (stick to main roads and aim to avoid steep country roads) and the forecast before you set off and tune in to the radio for weather updates.

Allow plenty of time for your journey.

Make sure you have plenty of fuel.

Don't set off until your heater has de-misted the windscreen fully. Make sure all the windows and mirrors are also clear.

Carry an emergency kit containing an ice scraper and de-icer; warning triangle; torch (and spare batteries); boots; blankets and warm clothes, food and drink (enough for you and your passengers); map; first-aid kit; spade; your fully charged mobile phone (and a charger).

If you don't already have breakdown cover consider it - it's not as expensive as you might think. For example, you can get a year's cover from the AA from as little as £71.

Driving in snow and ice

Here is the advice from Avon Fire & Rescue:

Be aware of vulnerable road users, such as people on foot, bicycles and motorbikes, who will be more difficult to see.

Drive slowly, allowing extra time for braking.

Take particular care on bendy or hilly rural roads. This is where you are highly likely to go out of control if you hit ice.

Keep at least a 10-second gap between you and the vehicle in front.

Use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin, but don't let your speed creep up.

Brake gently to avoid locking the wheels. Get into a low gear earlier than normal and allow the speed of the vehicle to fall gradually.

Take corners very slowly and steer gently and steadily.

Meanwhile Avon & Somerset Police are also advising motorists to get stay safe on the roads.

Chief Inspector Polly King, of the Road Policing Unit, said: "An important part of winter motoring is common sense and being well-prepared for adverse conditions.

"Forward planning and taking extra care in the icy weather is vital. The festive period is a time when spirits are high and we are encouraging people to be responsible on the roads. This means being extra vigilant and avoiding alcohol if you’re getting behind the wheel."

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