Brayleys Winter Driving Tips

Keeping you safe and keeping you moving this winter with our winter driving tips

Darkness, ice, rain, snow, slush and fog … yes, it’s winter again. And at Brayleys, we want to help keep you safe with our winter driving tips and our advice about how to drive on snow. Our winter driving tips cover what you need to do now to make sure your car is ready for winter weather and poor winter road conditions, as well as what you can do when you’re out on the road and the bad weather hits.

Be prepared! You want to make sure that your car is ready and able to deal with the worst that British weather can throw at it and that it won’t let you down. If your car is due a service, don’t delay, just contact the service team at Brayleys and we’ll arrange it all for you. As an approved main dealership for a variety of manufacturers, we offer specialist servicing for Mazda, Honda, Renault, Kia, Dacia and Mitsubishi, and all at highly competitive prices. Our highly experienced technicians can also carry out services on any make or model of car. If your car’s service isn’t due for a while, we suggest booking your car in for a winter health check to make sure everything is in order before winter bites.

Technology and winter driving

In 2014, the EU made the fitment of Electronic Stability Program (ESP) a requirement for all new cars. Different vehicle manufacturers may use different terms to describe their systems with a variety of acronyms, such as ESC, VDC, VSA and DSC. What all these systems have in common is their ability to help you to keep your car firmly on the road and under control. It’s usually possible to turn off this system with a manual switch, so it’s worth spending a moment to check that it hasn’t been turned off by mistake. When you’re driving in adverse conditions, keep an eye out for the warning lights on your dashboard, as these systems will warn you if your car is starting to go out of control and should be able to sense it before you do, activating in response. It’s a good reminder to slow down and drive with that extra bit of care.

Watch these helpful little hints from the AA to stay safe this winter:


Batteries struggle in colder temperatures. To improve battery life, switch off auxiliaries such as lights, wipers, radio and heater before turning your engine off. This allows extra charge to run into the battery. Also, use a car battery charger to occasionally check your battery's condition, just to be sure it’s always strong enough to cope.


Depress the clutch when starting a cold engine, as this disconnects the engine from the gearbox, so there's less drag. Check the coolant reservoir regularly. If the level is below the minimum mark, top up with a 50/50 mixture of water and anti-freeze to prevent engine freezing.


An unclear windscreen can result in a fine of up to £1,000, so always make sure your screen is totally clear before driving. Use the air con and de-icer spray to clear it more quickly, and ensure the wipers are free to move. Use a scraper to remove any hard ice, but never use boiling water from a kettle, as this can crack glass.

Here are some more winter driving tips, from the RAC:



Tyres must have a good tread depth. The legal minimum is 1.6mm, but it’s highly inadvisable to use tyres this worn down, especially when the weather conditions are poor. In fact, we recommend you use winter tyres during the colder months, because these are specifically designed to perform well in lower temperatures and over snow and surfaces with reduced grip. Take a look at our Brayleys Tyres price match offer and get a tyre quote.


Make sure you always have fuel to spare and never run close to empty. Your engine will use more fuel in colder temperatures, and generally there’ll also be more drain on it from using the lights, wipers and heater more frequently. Also, traffic is often worse in winter, which is also worse for fuel consumption. If the weather is particularly bad, you may be stranded for some time and need to keep your engine running to keep warm, using even more fuel.


Always carry these items in your car in case of a breakdown: warning triangle, jump leads, mobile phone, tow rope, shovel, first aid kit, water and snacks, and suitable clothing (hi-vis jacket, coat, gloves and boots). Driving in very poor conditions requires extra care and attention, and also specific car control techniques. Watch this video to help you drive more safely and more efficiently:

Stay safe this winter with winter driving tips from Brayleys

To find out more about how Brayleys can help you get through winter, please call or send us an enquiry

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