- Prepare before you leave
Make sure your tyres have a good amount of tread and your car is properly maintained before you head out, particularly during a downpour or if it’s icy. Cold weather can cause tyres to lose pressure, batteries to charge more slowly and engine fluids like oil to thicken, which can make the car slower to warm up.
It’s also a good idea to keep a box of warm clothes, a bottle of water and a torch in your car; you never know when you might get stuck.
- Know your systems
Modern cars have a range of electronic systems designed to help the car drive smoothly, such as ABS (anti-lock braking system) and ESP (electronic stability program). In snow and ice, it’s important to understand how these systems work, and how they affect your journey.
Dafydd, one of the experts at the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy said “It’s important to know what the system feels like, a judder sensation under the foot. It is important to understand that ABS not only stops you in a shorter distance, it also provides valuable steering control under braking.”
- Different conditions require different approaches to driving:
- Check your wiper blades, if they’re struggling in drizzle, they won’t be able to deal with a large downpour safely
- Watch out for larger vehicles and remember that there will be spray behind them
- If you feel your grip suddenly lighten while driving through standing water, you might be aquaplaning. Ease off the accelerator, but don’t brake and allow the car to slow back down until it feels more normal
- Make sure you understand the difference between your dipped, full beam and fog lights
- If conditions are very bad, at junctions and crossroads open your windows so that you can listen for approaching traffic
- Don’t simply follow the car in front’s tail lights, it will encourage you to get too close to them
Snow and Ice
- When clearing the windscreen, clear the top of the car as well. Otherwise if you brake suddenly snow from the roof could fall onto the windscreen, blocking your view
- Use low revs in a high gear to help stop the wheels slipping, start in second gear
- If it’s bright, sunglasses can help cut down on the glare from snow on the ground
- Service Care
As well as good preparation, keeping your car in good condition can be one of the best ways to prevent problems relating to the cold. Take a look at our Service Care plans, so that your car will be maintained year round for less than a cup of coffee a day: http://www.mercedes-benzretailgroup.co.uk/mercedes-benz-cars/service-parts/service-care/