To make sure you get to your destination without unforeseen incidents, it’s important not only to drive carefully, but also to be able to rely on a safe car. Even more so in winter, the most challenging season for drivers, you need stability and control. With the onset of winter, icy, icy or snow-covered stretches of road can occur at any time, and the car needs to cope. Find out what you can do to enjoy safe roads even in the cold season.
How to prepare your car for winter
Winter is a fickle season, and weather conditions can change from day to day. The weather can suddenly turn cold and precipitation such as sleet or snow can fall, leading to changing road conditions. In wet or icy road conditions, it’s not enough just to be careful. The car you drive needs to be equipped to cope with any road conditions. Here are some tips to help you prepare your car properly for the cold season:
- Because oil thickens in cold temperatures, the engine starts more slowly in winter, so the battery is stressed more and tends to drain faster. It is advisable to check the condition of the battery before the cold season arrives and replace it if necessary.
- The condition of the tyres and their type are extremely important details. Fit your car with a set of winter tyres, as they offer better steering control, shorten braking distance and give you better traction on snowy and icy roads. If you have the same tyres from previous years, a visit to your tyre dealer can help you find out if they’re in perfect working order or need changing.
- The braking system should also be checked in a specialist workshop. If necessary, you will need to replace or top up the brake fluid. The antifreeze should also be replaced regularly, as it loses its properties in 2-3 years, which can lead to a drop in the freezing point.
- You need to make sure that you always have good visibility from inside the car, regardless of the weather conditions. To this end, purchase a windscreen fluid that is frost resistant. Also check the condition of your wipers to avoid surprises and replace them if necessary.
- As mentioned earlier, low temperatures lead to an increase in oil viscosity. As a result it will flow more slowly, leading to poor engine lubrication. You can change the oil to a special winter oil at an authorised service centre, where they will recommend the right one for your car.
- Visibility in dark conditions is very important for the safety of you and your fellow road users. In winter, the days are shorter and you will need to make more use of your car’s lighting system. Make sure your headlights, taillights, fog lights and signal lights are working properly.
- Last but not least, your car’s climate control system should be functional so you can adjust the temperature inside to match the temperature outside.
Of course, when you buy a new car, you’ll want to opt for one equipped with technologies that allow you to drive safely, regardless of road or weather conditions.
Top features and technologies dedicated to extreme weather conditions
When choosing a car, you definitely want a model that will get you out of any unexpected situation when you’re behind the wheel. You also want the car you buy to be equipped with the latest technology so that your driving experience is safe, easy, enjoyable and comfortable.
Here are some of the latest features and technologies designed for your safety and driving comfort:
- IntelliGrip System – This is a clever system designed to focus engine power exactly where it’s needed to provide increased grip in difficult road conditions, eliminating wheel spin. With this system, traction and stability are optimised on different types of surfaces by automatically adapting the torque distribution to the wheels and changing the ESP settings. At the touch of a button on the centre console, you can pre-set IntelliGrip for mud, snow or sand or leave it in Normal mode, allowing the system to monitor any situation and you can enjoy the pleasure of driving without worry. This state-of-the-art technology gives you extra control and allows you to ride safely even in the cold season.
- Steering wheel, seat and windscreen heating systems – Driving in the cold season can be quite difficult when the windscreen is constantly freezing and you have to defrost it both on departure and during the journey. But modern cars come with solutions to this problem: heating both the steering wheel and seats for a comfortable driving experience and the windscreen. For example, the ThermaTec windscreen has built-in wires to quickly melt ice and snow. This makes your journeys safer and more comfortable, which is essential in the cold season.
- High-performance climate control tailored to your needs – Climate control can be a problem in winter, as it requires more energy, which drains the battery and, in the case of electric cars, reduces range. But there are solutions designed to do just that. One of these is optimising the HVAC system – heating, ventilation, air conditioning. By increasing the efficiency of the heat pump, the car’s battery is not as much of a strain, and if you have a plug-in hybrid or electric car, this means increased range.
- Special winter tyres and anti-skid chains for extra control – Tyre grip is very important on icy or snowy roads, when you need your car to react quickly and not get out of control. For the safety of you and your loved ones, it’s a good idea to equip your car with full winter tyres and anti-skid chains, which should not be missing from the boot in the cold season. This will give you peace of mind when planning a ski trip or a trip to the mountains. Change your winter tyres at an authorised dealer to make sure you’re using genuine accessories and that they’re the right ones for your car model.
- Adaptive All-Wheel Drive System – All-Wheel Drive allows the car to automatically shift power between the wheels to provide more stability. In the winter, or when you’re driving on difficult trails, you need to be able to rely on the power of all 4 wheels simultaneously. An adaptive all-wheel drive system means increased mobility, safety and better control, advantages you’ll definitely want in the cold season.
- Smart Headlights – Visibility in the cold season is often poor due to low light, shorter days and extreme weather conditions. If you’ve driven at least once in a blizzard or snow, you know what we’re talking about. It’s good that the car you choose offers you a high-performance headlight system that will increase your visibility and assist you successfully whatever conditions you’re driving in. A good example of this is the Intelli-Lux LED® headlamp system, which gives you good high beam visibility without disturbing other drivers. If you opt for Intelli-Lux LED® Matrix headlamps, you’ll get invaluable support on every journey, as the lighting system automatically adapts the range and distribution of light according to traffic conditions.
Winter driving doesn’t have to be difficult, uncomfortable or unsafe. If you can count on a car equipped with smart technologies like those mentioned above, your journeys can be worry-free even in the cold season.