Stay safe whilst driving in adverse weather with these handy winter driving tips
Whether you are heading off on holiday to somewhere snowy or preparing for a cold winter at home, it is very important to take additional precautions on the roads. It is always worthwhile to get your car ready for winter weather a couple of weeks in advance, so that you can drive safely once that cold weather hits. Below, you will find five essential tips for driving safely when the roads are icy and the visibility is poor. If you need any more help for winter driving, then Motoring Assist has all the information that you need.
- Only drive when you need to
It is much safer to do all of your fortnight’s shopping in one big go when the weather is relatively fine than venturing out on icy roads every couple of days. So cut back on non-essential driving and spend more time at home. There is no need for this to be boring at all: make the most of your time with festive dinner and drinks parties, winter walks and movie nights. If the weather is adverse for a long period of time, you could always try and do all of the activities listed in this article: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/30-fun-things-home.html
- Stay informed
Make it your business to listen to the latest travel and weather news, so that you do not get caught unawares by road closures, icy conditions, or impending snowstorms. If you have a smartphone, why not download a travel and weather app so you can stay updated in real time? Here are a few options: http://www.travelandleisure.com/slideshows/best-weather-apps-for-travelers. Though, it goes without saying that nobody should use their smartphone whilst driving.
- Keep some essential supplies in the boot
When winter is around the corner, make sure to put some cold weather supplies in your boot and leave them there. You may never have to use them but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Handy items include a shovel for clearing snow and some sand, grit or salt to give you extra grip on icy roads. If you do become stuck in the cold whilst driving – whether due to a breakdown or due to adverse weather – it is very useful to have a blanket, some warm clothes, some food and water, some jump leads, a fully charged mobile phone and a first aid kit to hand. As it can get dark pretty early in winter, a torch is also a good idea – make sure you have enough batteries for it. Fitting your vehicle with extra durable winter tyres is a very good idea too as these provide additional grip. Here are some ideas for stocking your first aid kit: http://www.nhs.uk/chq/pages/990.aspx?categoryid=72&subcategoryid=725.
- Give other road users more space
Reaction and braking times tend to be slower in the winter, due to poor visibility and less grip on the roads. So, when driving make sure to leave more room than you usually would between yourself and the vehicles in front of you. Let snow ploughs and similar vehicles have all the room that they need so that the roads can be cleared as quickly as possible of any snowy obstructions. Pay extra attention to the car in front in case they start to slide, swerve or brake suddenly.
- Take more breaks
When it is cold outside, often you want nothing more than to get home as quickly as possible. But, it is very important to factor in a break from driving at least every 4 hours. Bear in mind the fact that in the winter, driving times can be much longer than normal due to the need to drive more slowly and carefully on snowy and icy roads. So, though you may not usually require a break during your journey to visit your family, in the winter this journey may well be much longer and a tea and coffee break will be needed to ensure that you stay alert at the wheel. Falling snow can be dazzling to drivers, so if you feel yourself falling asleep at the wheel or finding it hard to concentrate make sure to pull over into a safe place and have a break before you start driving again. Taking a thermos of hot coffee and something interesting to read with you is a good idea. The coffee will wake you up and the reading matter will enable you to spend 15 minutes or so recuperating so that you can return to the road refreshed.
The VW parts that make up your specific Volkswagen’s complex cooling system are critical to the car’s basic functionality. In a nutshell, they are responsible for keeping the entire engine operating at an effective temperature by circulating coolant throughout all the vehicle’s engine parts and into the radiator. The cooling system is your car’s best friend; without it your engine would overheat causing a whirlwind of other problems. Therefore, properly maintaining and repairing (when needed) your VW’s cooling system parts is crucial because prolonging issues with any of these car parts could leave you stranded on the side of the road.
Let’s take a look at how the cooling system parts work together. Basically, the system is comprised of three main sections of parts: the water pump and timing belt; hoses, valves and sensors; and the radiator and expansion tank. A quick suggestion that you should get your own Volkswagen OEM parts such as a timing belt, water pump and hoses; and it’s pretty easy to ensure you’re getting high-quality parts from a store other than the dealership – of course, even online these days. Some of these parts, however, are a bit more complex to replace so if you’re not comfortable working on a particular issue for your VW, schedule an appointment with a local mechanic, explain what work you need help with, and even request he use your own replacement VW parts.
Water Pump & Timing Belt
In order for your cooling system to pump coolant throughout all the engine parts it requires a fully-functional water pump. The main primary pump in your VW is either gear or belt driven, which both require proper timing and tension to run effectively. Further, some Volkswagen models have a secondary water pump part to maximize flow and cooling, and that is usually electric. The drive belt or timing belt that turns the primary water pump is critical to the operation of your entire cooling system. If you hear a squeaky noise from those belts, it probably means they’re wearing out and need to be replaced very soon so you don’t overheat the engine (Don’t those things always happen at the worst time?!).
You can probably repair either of these parts in your VW on your own to save on the mechanic’s fees. Check the owner’s manual to keep up with recommended maintenance on the water pump, and the timing and tension adjustment belts, as indicated in your car’s manual.
Hoses, Control Valves and Sensors
The cooling system as a whole works together via interconnected hoses, control valves, sensors and a thermostat. These car parts can deteriorate over time since they’re in constant contact with the coolant, which can actually get hot after exiting the engine.
As the coolant travels through the system, it begins to pick up heat from the engine as it makes its way to the thermostat. The thermostat has a valve which is then used to determine the temperature of the coolant. The valve then opens and transfers the hot fluid via a hose to enter the radiator in order to cool down.
It’s imperative to change the hoses in your Volkswagen from time to time as they break down just like any other car, but you must also tend to each specific component of your VW’s cooling system on a periodic basis. For instance, a corroded thermostat valve can result in the engine running too cool or overheating, which are both detrimental to the car’s longevity.
Unless something is obviously wrong with a hose or valve, you may need a professional to diagnose the issue. But you can always take that diagnosis, buy the replacement VW parts yourself and try to do these repairs.
Radiator, Expansion Tank and Heater Core
The temperature of your car’s cooling system is regulated by using a radiator, expansion tank, cooling fans and a fan clutch (in some VW models). While these car parts function independently of the engine, they do help improve the function of the engine through cooling and/or through control signals sent to the VW electronic system. Since temperature control is crucial to performance, emissions and most importantly safety, you do not want to prolong repairs if you suspect trouble.
Historically, there are two types of car cooling systems: an air cooling system which is typically found in older cars and water-cooled systems which are more commonly used in today’s new cars. When anti-freeze (aka coolant) is poured into the engine, it is used as a medium for absorbing the engine’s heat. Your VW’s radiator is comprised of a hose system, a heater core and expansion tank. As coolant makes its way through the radiator hoses, the heat is then released so the liquid is cool again before returning to the engine.
The heater core is located closer towards the passenger compartment. As the coolant travels through the heater core, a fan blows to remove the heat from the fluid. If the heater is turned on inside the car, warm air would make its way through the vents. Lastly, as the anti-freeze travels through the coolant jacket surrounding the engine block, the coolant then absorbs heat from the engine as it circulates.
Unless you’re very handy with cars, these parts in the Volkswagen cooling system can be a lot more challenging to complete repairs on your own. The best way to maintain and preserve these VW parts is by replacing the coolant from time to time, which IS an easy thing to do on your own. If you suspect there is already damage to the radiator, expansion tanks or heater cores, have your vehicle checked by a certified VW mechanic to ensure proper repairs are done since these are quite a bit more challenging than replacing hoses.
A Few Bonus Tips:
- Keep your engine as clean as possible or it will overheat when there is too much gunk;
- Replace coolant just before factory recommended intervals and ensure you’re using the right type, mixture, and volume;
- If you suspect a problem with hoses, replace them right away. Failure to do so could lead to power steering issues, abnormal engine temperature and many other complications;
- Adjust and/or replace water pump’s timing belt at the recommended intervals;
It might seem like a lot of work, but maintaining your car’s cooling system is essential to prevent the engine from overheating and achieving maximum performance from your Volkswagen. Good maintenance allows your car to run smoothly and get better fuel economy, and lowers the risk of costly repairs in the future.
If your business is in need of a vehicle but the accountant claims that it would be tough to buy the vehicle outright, then you’re in good company – more and more businesses see the advantages of leasing their vehicles rather than putting good money down for a purchase. Whilst ownership of the vehicle has its perks, it’s often not practical and the advantages often aren’t worth the disadvantages. For many – especially for starting enterprises – leasing a car or van is a much more practical approach to cover transportation needs. Still in doubt? Here are the top benefits for your business of leasing a vehicle.
The heavy decrease in value
As soon as you buy a vehicle, it becomes second-hand – and this will immediately decrease its value, sometimes even up to 30%. In other words, as soon as you purchase the vehicle, you kiss some serious capital goodbye. You don’t have that problem when you lease an automobile; the one you’re leasing it from has that.
When you purchase a vehicle, you usually have to put down a heavy deposit – and then pay monthly payments. The problem here is that it usually requires a heavy deposit; that’s a huge chunk of capital that is immediately tied up. When leasing a vehicle such as a van, the payments are strictly monthly, which makes it much easier for your cash flow and monthly financial planning.
The brand you want
Your business needs to look good, and you may not be able to afford the vehicle that best represents the values of your business. Cheap vehicles simply don’t project the right image and good quality vans and cars are usually quite expensive to purchase. Even if your budget is tight, your company can still display a suitable image to potential customers by leasing a vehicle (such as one from Vans Direct) that would otherwise be out of budget.
Maintenance is not a problem
Especially when it concerns a fleet of vehicles, there must be a person appointed for daily or weekly maintenance and repairs – and this can be quite costly. Leasing solves that problem; usually there are clauses within the leasing contract that put the owner or leasing company responsible for maintenance and repair.
And perhaps the greatest advantage is that leasing allows you to budget and plan your cash flow in a much better way – the money of the business is not tied up and there is no need to put money aside for repairs or maintenance expenses which you would otherwise incur (without doubt) if the vehicle is purchased. It’s a very efficient way of planning, ensuring transportation is well-maintained and safe and putting out a company image that befits the aspirations of the enterprise. Leasing – it’s the smart thing to do.
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Are you planning to sell your car? There are diverse steps and platforms to do so where you can get the best value for your used car. Before getting into the selling procedure search out the value and try to maintain your used car as captivating as possible. True bil is one of the leading online portals which sell certified used cars in Mumbai. True bil is here to help with the tools and information for every step of the process. It provides a complete solution to all used car related requirements with services like reasonable car loans, paper work, warranty servicing, and insurance renewal for used cars for sale in Mumbai
Following are the 10 Best steps to sell your Car:
Step1: Gather Your Car information – The very first step is to start the procedure with the paperwork. The car name, service records and original sales will be mentioned in the documents. Being an owner you may know in and out of your car but in front of your prospective buyers you need to prove them out. You need to collect all the basic car information and rectify before moving a step ahead. If you don’t have any service receipt ask your dealers, regular mechanic or oil changer center to provide a print statement that reviews your visits. This sort of details reassures buyers that a car is in good condition which can help you to get higher price.
Step2: Know your car true conditions – People are mostly in the perception that their car “drives like new” and sparkle like a star, but its value will depends on its actual condition. They need to gather all sorts of information about the car and must do some research work. Overestimating the value of the used second hand cars in Mumbai may lead to unrealistic expectation. Therefore take the help of dealers or mechanics who can help you to know the condition and crack your deals.
Step3: Decide whether to trade-in or sell yourself – Once you recognize the exact condition of your car, the next step is to decide whether to sell it yourself or trade-in to a dealership. Meanwhile the value of the car differs on which mode you use. If you select the option of dealership the work becomes prompt and convenient. You don’t have to bother about the listing and selling cost. You won’t receive any personal call or emails through the buyers and you have to pay less sale tax on your new car. If you select the option to sell privately then you need to negotiate directly with the buyers. You may get 20-25% more for your car.
Step4: Increase your car resale value – It is possible to reap the reward of higher resale value only when your car is in new condition and body part are absolutely fine.
Step5: Set the asking price of your car – If you have spent thousand in repairing your car body parts the ultimately the value becomes higher.
Step6: Create an online ad that sells – You can create online ads or take the help of online car portals. You can even post your ads in newspaper, classified etc.
Step7: Screen potential buyers – You need to meet the buyers personally and explain the great features and specification.
Step8: Use the test drive to sell – You can use test drive to sell the car because this will prove that your car runs smoothly on road.
Step9: Negotiate the best price for your car – When you are satisfied with all the set procedures then you can negotiate the deals with the potential buyers.
Step10: Complete the sale – If the deal is done make the note on the bill of sale. Ask the buyers to sign it as well and fill all the details before handling the car keys.
Doing preventative maintenance for your vehicle may not be particularly fun or exciting, but it’s ultimately what’s best for the car—and for your wallet. By investing some time and minimal expense in routine care, you can keep your vehicle running as intended, and head off potentially major problems before they truly begin to spiral out of control. Just think: Taking half an hour to get your oil changed every few months could spare you from having to pay for a whole engine replacement. That’s a great deal, right?
Right—except actually staying on top of a car’s maintenance schedule can be a little bit daunting, especially to those who already have busy schedules and a million things on their plate. (And isn’t that all of us?) To help, we’ve put together a quick guide to your vehicle’s care—some things you can do to keep the vehicle in good working order. We hope you’ll find this to be a handy reference!
How to Keep Up with Preventative Maintenance
Here are our tips:
If you’ve never read your owner’s manual, drop what you’re doing and go read it now. You wouldn’t start running a major new appliance without consulting the instructions, would you? Neither should you operate your vehicle without reading the accompanying literature. The manual will give you insights into how best to care for your vehicle—and it will also keep you from doing anything to void the warranty.
Conduct a DIY auto inspection once every month. Use a tire gauge to make sure the tires have enough air, and inflate them if needed. Walk around the vehicle to ensure all the lights work. Run the car for a while to make sure you don’t hear any funky sounds.
Check your fluid levels monthly. As you inspect the car, also take a moment to check the levels for antifreeze, power steering, coolant, and wiper fluid. Even if you don’t know how to replace them, you’ll at least know you need to take the vehicle in for servicing.
Check your oil, too—and change it as needed. You should check it monthly, and change it when it starts to look dirty (cloudy/ like melted chocolate) or when you hit the manufacturer recommended mileage. For many vehicles, this may be as high as 10,000 miles.
Replace your windshield wipers as needed. If your view is starting to get streaky, it’s time to replace the wipers!
Get your filters changed. It’s easiest to just ask for these to be changed whenever you take your car in for an oil change.
Check the battery connection. Your battery should be pretty low-maintenance, but every month or two you might just give it a visual inspection, note any obvious signs of corrosion, and take it to the shop if you see anything unusual.
Remember: Taking some time for routine maintenance can save you a lot of hassle—and a lot of money—in the long run.