Category Archives: Driving Advice

Motoring advice and driving tips

Winter Motoring – Be Prepared!

Driving in Winter
Winter Motoring – Be Prepared for the worst!

With winter well on its way, now is the time to prepare for those extreme and hazardous driving conditions. Make sure that you and your vehicle are prepared for the extremes of bad weather which appear to be happening much more regularly.

With shorter days and longer nights, especially when the clocks go back at the end of October, driving in the winter can be extremely hazardous. It may be nice and sunny when you set out on your journey but all too quickly the weather can turn for the worse and driving can become extremely difficult, if not impossible. In very bad conditions, it may be wiser to avoid driving completely unless absolutely essential.

It is always worth preparing for any eventuality and making sure you drive to suit the road conditions. When driving in winter, ice is an ever present hazard and one which you should always be prepared for. Even if the weather is fine and sunny and the temperature is above freezing, ice patches can still form on untreated roads that are sheltered by hedges, buildings or trees. Extra care should be taken on roads with hollows or roads that pass under bridges and all roads that are exposed.

Is your vehicle ready for winter?

Here are a few things you can do to make sure your car is fit for the journey and help to prevent any unnecessary breakdowns:

Make sure your vehicle is serviced regularly, especially before the onset of winter. Have your battery and alternator tested to make sure they are up to the job – this is a free check that DRB Car Spares will carry out at their store in Warrington.

Check that all lights are clean and working and check the condition of your wipers and washer jets. Check the fluid level of the screen-wash bottle and top up with winter screen-wash to prevent freezing. It’s also a good idea to carry some spare screen-wash, preferably ready mixed, in your car, along with a good quality de-icer.

Keep an eye on all the fluid levels and ensure that your radiator is filled with the correct concentration of anti-freeze.

Check the tyres for any damage and that they are inflated to the correct pressures. Check the tyre tread depth which should be an absolute minimum of 3 mm. If you regularly travel to areas with high snowfall, it may be worth investing in a set of good quality snow socks or snow chains.

When driving in winter it is a good idea to carry an emergency kit, especially on long journeys – just in case. There is always the possibility that you may be stranded in your car overnight!

A basic emergency kit should include:

  • Warm clothing, boots or wellingtons and a car blanket
  • Emergency rations such as a hot drink and food
  • Shovel and torch (check the batteries!)
  • Jump leads, tow rope and high viz vests (one for each person in the car)
  • Emergency kit such as the AA Winter Car Kit or Ring Emergency Kit
  • Warning triangle and travel first aid kit
  • Screen-wash, deicer and a good ice scraper
  • Map in case you need to re-route due to flooding or accident
  • Mobile phone & in-car charger

Many of the items above are available in the Winter Motoring section of our website.

Before starting your journey, make sure you have sufficient fuel in the tank. Check the weather conditions at your destination and on your route. You can get updates on live traffic information by visiting  the Highways Agency website,  and be prepared to delay your journey or change your route if necessary.

Have a safe journey – whatever the weather!

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Buying New Wheel Trims

Find the correct size of wheel trims for your car

Missouri wheel trim
Autostyle Missouri wheel trim

Fitting a set of new wheel trims is one of the easiest ways to give your car a facelift and make it stand out from the crowd. There are many, many styles available and just a quick look around our store in Warrington will reveal over thirty different designs in stock to fit most steel wheels (not alloy wheels) with sizes between 13 and 17 inch. Wheel trims are generally a universal product (except on a few larger vehicles, such as motorhomes and light commercial vehicles, which usually have a deep dished wheel) so there should be no problem fitting them to the most popular car models on the road.

A question we’re constantly being asked is: “How do I know what size wheel trims I need?” So how do you find the correct size for your vehicle? It’s actually really simple, just look on the side of your tyre!

Wheel size on the side of tyre
Wheel size is on the tyre sidewall

Wheel trims are usually measured in inches and the size refers to the diameter of the vehicle wheels – measured as 13, 14, 15, 16 or 17 inch. To find the size of your wheel and subsequently the size of the wheel trim you require, look on the sidewall of the tyre where you will see a series of numbers. The number following the letter ‘R’ is the wheel size in inches. See the examples below for more details:

165/65 R13 – In this example 13 inch is the size of the wheel, so you would order 13 inch wheel trims.

205/55 R16 – Here 16 inch is the size of the wheel, so you would order 16 inch wheel trims.

The letter ‘R’ in the above examples, just indicates the radial construction of the tyre.

Ring Gyro Wheel Trim
Ring Gyro wheel trim

Wheel trims are very simple to fit and are usually held in place by a retaining ring fitted to the back of the trim. It’s always a good idea though to fit a couple of ‘cable tie’ type straps to each wheel trim to prevent accidental loss or potential theft. These are usually available in black or silver grey, to match the colour of the trim.

For more information, or to purchase online with FREE UK delivery, please visit our website: http://www.drbcarspares.co.uk

 

Driving on snow and ice? Top ten driving tips from DRB Car Spares & Accessories!

form] winter motorway

Our ‘Top 10 Tips’ for driving on snow and ice

  1. Before setting off, make sure the windows are clear of snow and ice and check that your tyres are in good condition with at least 3mm of tread. The deeper the tread – the better the grip!
  2. When driving off on snow or ice, do so very slowly and in second gear to prevent the wheels from spinning. Try and keep the revs low by changing into a higher gear as soon as possible.
  3. Drive at a steady pace that you feel comfortable with, but not too fast that you risk losing control. By driving in a higher gear than you normally would at a certain speed, you will be able to keep your revs down.
  4. Think ahead, to avoid making any sudden decisions such as braking too hard or accelerating too quickly. Accelerate slowly and brake gently!
  5. If you do have to use the brakes, try to avoid stopping completely. It will be much easier to start off again if you keep the wheels turning and don’t lose momentum.
  6. Leave plenty of distance between you and the vehicle in front, you may have to leave as much as ten times more than in normal conditions.
  7. Try to stick to the major roads and those that you know will have been gritted. There is a much better chance of those being kept clear of ice and snow.
  8. Never attempt to brake on a bend as this is when you are most likely to lose control and start sliding. Always try to brake in a straight line wherever possible. If you should find yourself skidding or sliding, be prepared to ease off the brakes and accelerator, and steer into the slide until you have the vehicle back under control.
  9. ABS brakes will help to prevent you skidding and bring the car safely under control in slippery conditions. If you don’t have ABS on your vehicle, then be prepared to ease off the brakes in order to steer more accurately.
  10. If you do find yourself stuck in snow with your wheels spinning, it is possible to get moving again by rocking the car gently backwards and forwards using the gears. If this fails then you will probably have to resort to digging away the snow from the around the wheels. For this reason, if you regularly drive in areas with heavy snow, it is always a good idea to carry a folding shovel or snow chains/socks in the vehicle.

For more tips and advice on winter motoring, visit the ‘Expert Advice’ section on our website: http://www.drbcarspares.co.uk