Save up to 40% across our range of Tools and Equipment this Easter!

 

LANGUAGE:  

   MOSS BRANCHES
Select Model
  • 124 Spider
  • Austin-Healey 100-3000
  • Jaguar
  • MGA
  • MGB
  • MGF
  • Mini
  • Minor
  • MX-5
  • Spitfire
  • Sprite & Midget
  • T Type
  • TR2-4A
  • TR5-6
  • All products
  • All tools
  • All Dynolite Oils

                     MG    |     Triumph    |     Austin Healey    |     Mini     |     Morris    |     Jaguar    |     Mazda    |     Easter Sale

Driving out the winter blog

 

  Ian Cushway profile Image

By Ian Cushway, 28th January 2019

 

Drive out this winter!

 

Seasonal driving tips to keep you on the straight and narrow.

 

It's great fun getting out and about in your classic at this time of year to blow away the cobwebs and enjoy the spectacular, frosty white landscapes. Simply crank up the heaters to volume 11, wrap up and get going! However, there’s a few things you need to consider before setting off on your classic winter driving adventures...

 

At your service
Before you set off, make sure your vehicle is up for the chill ahead and isn't about to leave you out in the cold. Is there enough juice in the battery, is the ignition system up to scratch, do the windscreen wipers work okay and have you got the correct concentration of anti-freeze? Oh, and don't forget the heaters – you want hot air on your screen and feet, not a cold gust! Spend a day in the workshop checking all these things so it's enjoyable and you're not left stranded.

 

Driving out the winter image 01

Credit: Photo by Thibault Valjevac on Unsplash

 

Tool up
It makes sense to take a stash of tools in the boot. You’ll need the usual jack, wheel brace and spark plug remover, but think about all the extra things that you might need. We supply a full range of accessories you may need for such situations which can be found on our Emergency & Breakdown page. Also, make sure your mobile has full charge in case you need to 'phone a friend’. Take a warm coat, gloves and a hat too – just in case!

 

Driving out the winter image 02

Credit: Photo by Rico_Loeb on Pixabay

 

Get a grip
Winter tyres provides better grip in rubbish conditions by having treads with a greater number of blocks for better irrigation and tiny grooves in the tread that increase the number of edges of rubber in contact with the road. They also made up from a larger percentage of natural rubber and silica which doesn’t harden as much as synthetic rubber when temperatures drop below 7°C, which also improves their performance when temperatures plummet. If you're likely to do lots of driving over winter, now's the time to take the plunge and buy some.

 

Driving out the winter image 03

Credit: Photo by Tim Wright on Uunsplash

 

Plan your route
We're almost ready to hit the road. But before you grab your keys, quickly plan a route. Try to avoid roads that are likely to become snowbound or be particularly icy, or roads with a steep hill or descent which might become treacherous. Why not include in a town centre stop where you can join up with a main road if the weather conditions suddenly change for the worse. Pack a Thermos flask and some cake in case the café you planned to stop at happens to be closed. Oh, and another thing. Don't be over-ambitious – especially if you're in an older classic – and plan to get back before it gets dark. As the night sets in and it gets colder, visibility is reduced and if you get stuck somewhere in the wee hours it will be a lot more tricky getting yourself back home.

 

Driving out the winter image 04

Credit: Photo by Hello I'm Nik on Unsplash

 

Don’t rush
Okay, so hopefully you and your car will be ready to enjoy a fun winter excursion, but you'll need to take care if it's really slippery. Now, the secret when driving in winter is to take things nice and slow; brake and accelerate gently and avoid making any erratic steering movements. It's all about maintaining traction; wheel spin can lead to loss of steering control in a front wheel drive car, or an oversteer slide in a rear wheel drive classic. Both will prevent you from going in the direction you want and can be difficult to recover from.

 

Back off a bit
If you start wheel-spinning, resist the urge to apply more throttle. Instead back off the accelerator and then reapply smoothly, keeping your engine speed as low as possible in order to maximise grip. Pulling away in second gear might help because higher gears reduce torque at the driven wheels and therefore lower the chances of wheel-spin.

 

Driving out the winter image 05

Credit: Photo by Lex Valishvili on Unsplash

 

Braking bad?
If you’ve got ABS, let it do its work by keeping a firm pressure on the brake pedal. If you’re driving an older classic without it, try cadence braking by gently applying then coming off the pedal in a pumping action to mimic the effect of ABS. You might need to ease off the brakes to steer more effectively because if you lock up, you’ll only go one way – and that’s straight on through a snowy hedge possibly.

 

On a slippery slope
Slippery inclines present one of the biggest challenges when it comes to winter driving, so avoid them if at all possible. However, if you do come upon an icy or snow-covered ascent ensure you have enough momentum to take you to the top. Stay in the highest gear possible to improve traction. On the way down, use engine braking to prevent skidding all over the place.

 

Driving out the winter image 06

Credit: Photo by Kristaps Grundsteins on Unsplash

 

Right on track
If your classic is likely to become a daily driver during the winter, it might be a good idea to hone your driving skills by spending time on a skid pan like the one at Thruxton, otherwise do a Google search to find your nearest facility. You never know, the skills you learn here could save your life one day. Alternatively, enrol on a winter driving course. Again, these tend to be offered at race circuits – we found a good one at The Bridgestone Winter Driving School.

 

Driving out the winter image 07

Credit: Photo by https://thruxtonracing.co.uk/skidpan

 

Keep it covered
If you really want to avoid the fun atmosphere of a winter trip turning decided chilly, take out breakdown/recovery cover. Lots of classic insurers offer recovery cover as part of their policy, so check to see if it's included. Oh, finally, just be sensible – if the conditions are just too treacherous, wait for them to improve and stay at home by the fire instead.

 

Driving out the winter image 08

Credit: Photo by Stéphane Juban on Unsplash

 

Happy winter motoring!

 

 

Read more blogs from Moss Europe

 

Keep up with all the latest from Moss on our social pages