What To Keep in Mind in Winter and How to Prepare
Winter roads are a test for both cars and their drivers. Is your car properly prepared for the winter months? Do you know what to watch out for and where dangers lurk? The following advice, tips and rules from ŠKODA experts can come in handy and are certainly worth thinking about.
It’s a good idea to practise putting on chains before you head out into the snow.
Change tyres and mindset
First fallen leaves, then ice on the roads, dark mornings, fog and poor visibility all day, followed by snow in all its forms. Winter is a time it’s worth getting ready for, and that includes your mindset – recognise that the easy days of summer are gone. Especially in countries where it’s compulsory, the winter season should start with a change of tyres – book with a service centre early and don’t wait until the last minute or it might be too late. It’s better to drive on winter tyres for a few more warm weeks than to be caught out by morning frosts with summer tyres. Did you know that it’s not a good idea to run down your winter tyres after the season is over, and that you need to have winter tyres on cars with an all-wheel drive too?
Do you keep your windows clean, with no dust or grease on the inside? It’s not a bad idea to wipe down the inside of the windows as well, as it reduces fogging. How do you deal with iced-over windows? Here are some tips.
Are all your lights working properly? Now is the best time to check and replace them. What about the wipers: are they in good shape after the summer? In winter they’re going to be used much more than in summer and they need to work perfectly. Read on for some advice.
Make sure you check the state of all your lights before winter sets in.
At least when driving out of town, snow chains come in very handy – a good tip is to practise (or refresh your memory) by putting them on in the dry, in a quiet car park or garage. Don’t forget the winter fluid for the windscreen washer. Do you know why it is necessary to wait a few seconds before turning on the rear window washer after you’ve added the winter washer fluid? Find out about this and a few other tricks – like what glycerine oil is good for – in this article. You can even download and print out the list of handy tips.
What to have in the car
During the winter months, it pays to carry a few extra things in the car. Why is it a good idea to have a sandbag, a shovel, a spare sweatshirt and blanket, or even a dry candy bar in the car? Why, more than ever, you should keep an eye on your fuel tank and not let it drop to the reserve? Read our expert’s tips.
Charging isn’t a problem even in cold weather.
When you come home in the evening and leave your car outside in the winter, there are a few more tips that come in handy. These will make it easier to deal with an iced-up car in the morning. You’ll learn what to do with the wipers, why you should cover the windscreen, how to park cleverly in winter and why not to turn your car into a tank. By the way, did you know that you can get fined in many countries for having dirty windows? And do you know how they test cars’ frost resistance at ŠKODA?
Even if you don’t have heated seats or a heated steering wheel, always take off your jacket before driving. For one thing it’s safer, but in terms of long-term thermal comfort you’ll also appreciate it, even though you may be cold for the first few kilometres. How do you find out if the road is icy and how to brake properly in winter? There’s more on this in the next part of our series on winter driving.
The safest way to transport skis, snowboards and winter sports equipment in general is in a roof box.
Simply Clever and well-prepared
Making sure your car is already warm when you get in? Ice scraper and umbrella always at the ready? The smart way to carry snow-covered skis in the car? Take a look at the Simply Clever solutions offered by ŠKODA.
Even the shortest winter journeys can be surprisingly tricky and unpredictable. So it’s a good idea to be well-prepared, and not just when it comes to car equipment. Now is a good time to check your insurance and coverage for assistance services. You can find out what to have in your phone and why you should leave some money in the car just in case, learn what the rules are abroad and what differences might catch you out there in our rundown.
Try to avoid bringing snow into the car – it will melt and evaporate in the car interior.
You’re no doubt well aware that battery capacity and performance decrease in the cold. That’s why it’s also a good idea to have your battery checked before winter, even for internal combustion cars. The winter operation of electric cars is even more specific. Read our tips and advice on how to keep your electric car in the best possible condition in winter – how to keep the battery at the ideal temperature, how to use the heating, how to park smartly and what Eco mode means.
Heat pump for electric cars
The ideal outdoor temperature for optimum vehicle efficiency is between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius. The range of electric vehicles is slightly reduced in winter, mainly because a sophisticated thermal management system has to keep the battery in the optimum temperature range. Energy from the battery is used to do this, as well as to heat the interior. Unlike models with internal combustion engines, electric cars cannot use waste heat from the engine for this purpose. The ideal solution, though, is a heat pump, which is an option for the ENYAQ iV and which produces warm air by compressing CO2. This lets the car heat the interior without consuming battery power.