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10 Ways to Keep Your Car Safe and Running Smoothly Through Winter


LONDON--December 16, 2011:

With winter fast approaching, CTEK, the leading developer of intelligent lead-acid Battery Chargers, has released the following ten maintenance tips to ensure that vehicles run smoothly, and safely, during the colder, more hazardous months.

    1) Avoid a flat battery. Battery Maintenance 
      [CTEK Battery Mainenance] is essential during winter. If
      you have electricity in your garage or storage area you can use a CTEK 12V Battery
      Charger [CTEK: Why Charge Car Batteries] which will maintain
      charge levels and keep the battery in good condition. Furthermore, certainly with new
      stop-start technology present in an increasing number of vehicles, batteries are
      particularly prone to flattening at a faster rate.
    2) Be winter specific. It is important to ensure that you have the correct
      concentration of screen wash in order to fight the elements and don't forget to add
      anti freeze to your radiator. A good weather specific product such as the Farecla
      Smart Rain Repellent kit is also a good idea to have handy and will dramatically
      increase visibility and make driving safer.
    3) Obey the maintenance schedule. You should always know and follow your
      vehicle's Manufacturer's Recommended Maintenance Schedule.
    4) Tyres can be deadly if ignored. Driving in winter invariably means driving in
      rain, sleet and on ice and as a result, the car is running the risk of aqua planing
      and skidding - it is vital to ensure that tread depth is at least 3mm to be safe in
      wet or icy conditions and tyres should be inflated to the pressure recommended by the
      manufacturer. Additionally, certainly in harsher climates, it's vital to ensure that
      the tires aren't too old as, as they age, the rubber becomes harder resulting in a
      much lower efficiency. Specific winter tires are ideal in the colder, wetter and 
      icier months, such as spiked and those made of rubber only.
    5) Be winter aware. Cars often need more care and attention in the colder months
      to keep them going - make sure that the oil in the car is an appropriate winter 
      weight and will not excessively thicken due to a drop in temperatures.
    6) Be suspicious of smells. When your car smells funny, it may be letting you
      know that something needs attention. For example, if your car smells like it's 
      burning rubber, you may be riding the brakes, or driving with one foot on the brake 
      and one foot on the accelerator.
    7) Avoid excessive idling. Shut off the engine while waiting for friends and
      family. Today's vehicles are designed to "warm up" fast, so forget about those long
      idles on cold winter mornings.
    8) Drive gently. In winter, the road conditions can be unpredictable and
      dangerous if not handled correctly. Avoid sudden accelerations and jerky
      stop-and-go's. During Snowy conditions always drive in the highest gear possible and
      ensure that there is at least a ten second gap between you and the car in front.
    9) Keep your engine tuned up. A misfiring spark plug can reduce fuel efficiency
      as much as 30 percent. Follow the service schedules listed in your owner's manual.
      Replace filters and fluids as recommended.
      10) Brakes. Your vehicle's most critical system is its brakes. Stopping
      distances are often increased during winter months due to poor weather conditions. To
      combat this danger most effectively, perform tests on the brake pedal intermittently
      by compressing the brake pedal lightly after driving through water or across icy road
      conditions to check that it had dried out and is at its most effective.