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Prepare Your Car for Winter: A Comprehensive Guide from Carzone

Prepare Your Car for Winter: A Comprehensive Guide from Carzone

With winter setting in, ensuring your car’s reliability and safety becomes paramount whether it’s a traditional car or an EV. Carzone, Ireland’s most trusted motoring marketplace, provides these in-depth tips for winter-proofing your vehicle

1. Schedule a Service: Carzone strongly recommends booking your car for a full service with a certified mechanic. This not only confirms your car’s overall condition but can pinpoint issues that are exacerbated by cold weather.

2. Tyre Health: In Ireland, winter tyres are not often necessary, but good tyre condition is. Make sure your tyres exceed the 1.6mm minimum tread depth and maintain correct pressure for better traction and braking.

3. Wipers and Lights: Worn-out wipers or dim bulbs can compromise safety. Check and replace as needed. Given Ireland’s shorter days and variable weather, functional lighting is vital for visibility.

4. Air Conditioning Use: Running your air conditioning helps to remove moisture, clearing your windscreen faster. A particularly useful feature in Ireland’s often rainy winter.

5. Regular Drives: Cars, like humans, don’t enjoy sitting idle. A weekly 30-minute drive can rejuvenate your battery and reduce moisture buildup, common issues in Ireland’s damp winter months.

6. Essential Winter Kit: According to Carzone, every Irish driver should have an emergency kit. Include an ice scraper, extra bulbs, and small bottles of coolant and screen wash. Don’t forget a mobile phone charger, high-vis vest, and towrope.

7. Safe Driving Practices: Ireland’s winter driving conditions can be unpredictable. Carzone suggests reducing speed and staying vigilant to handle greater stopping distances and decreased visibility.

Cold weather can significantly impact the performance and efficiency of Electric Vehicles (EVs) in several ways. Luckily, these can be tackled head-on.

1. Battery Range: Cold temperatures can reduce the effective range of an EV battery by up to 40%. The battery has to work harder to maintain optimal operating conditions. Carzone recommends preconditioning the battery while the car is still plugged in. Some EVs have a feature that allows you to schedule this via an app.

2. Charging Efficiency: Cold weather can slow down the rate at which the battery charges, potentially leading to longer waiting times at charging stations. Use fast-charging stations when possible, as they are generally less affected by cold weather. Additionally, keep the battery at least partially charged; a fuller battery charges more efficiently.

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3. Cabin Heating: Unlike internal combustion engines that generate waste heat, EVs may need to draw energy from the battery for heating, reducing the driving range further. Use seat heaters instead of the cabin heater where possible, as they consume less energy. Preheat the car while it’s still plugged in to save battery for the drive.

4. Battery Longevity: While modern EV batteries are designed to handle a range of temperatures, consistently cold conditions can impact the overall lifespan of a battery. Park in a garage or other covered area to keep the vehicle warmer. Some EVs also offer battery thermal management systems that help maintain optimal battery temperature.

Thinking specifically about traditional cars, there are some things that are essential as the colder weather looms. These include:

1. Battery Check: Failure to start on cold mornings is usually down to a flat battery. Investing in a new battery, typically costing between €70 and €160, can save you from future hassle.

2. Check Fluid Levels: Keep an eye on coolant, oil, and screen-wash levels. Coolant prevents freezing, while proper oil levels ensure optimal engine performance. Carzone advises using quality graded oil to avoid voiding any warranties.

By following Carzone’s comprehensive guide, you’re not just preparing for winter; you’re ensuring a safer, more reliable driving experience.

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