The top five of the most common failures/ breakdowns on our roads remains unchanged for a few years. With some precautions, they are easy to prevent. Touring gives you some practical tips, simple and cheap.
1. The Battery
Winter is the most difficult time for batteries. Many of them are often too weak and have insufficient reserves for the engine to start in cold weather. Our patrol boats help every year about 85,000 motorists who suffer a battery failure. In about half of the interventions, the latter must be changed. Always keep in mind that the average life of a battery is five to six years.
When starting, turn off the headlights and energy-consuming components such as ventilation, rear window defroster, radio, seat heating, windshield wipers … After a difficult start or after having received the help of a patroller, you must drive for 20 minutes, that is to say, a minimum distance of 30 kilometers.
2. The Cooling Circuit
Heck engine coolant before temperatures drop. There are simple and inexpensive testers on the market that can control the level of antifreeze protection of the car. A 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and liquid gives your engine protection up to about -30 °. Coolant additives also prevent corrosion.
Never use water but the coolant recommended by the manufacturer. Before winter, have a specialist check the concentration of the antifreeze and the thermostatic valve of the cooling circuit.
3. The Fuel
It is the vehicles running on diesel which suffer mainly from the cold. The most recent generation of diesel engines is insensitive to cold weather but only if they are regularly checked and maintained by specialists. From November, the fuel stations switch to winter diesel.
It is a generation of fuel containing additives that remain active down to -25 ° C, 30 ° C. Do not put gas in a modern diesel car. We used to do it with old diesel engines. With the current engines, it’s bad for the injection system.
In our country, the proportion of winter tires is just 40%. The reason is the relatively low risk of ice and persistent snow. Winter tires are significantly safer. Good to know, even if you use your winter tires at a temperature: From 0 °, the braking distance decreases by 6% From 5 °, it decreases by 12% From 10 °, it decreases by 20% One of the most important properties of winter tires is that they stay flexible. You must not use them all year.
When the temperature rises, the winter tires are less efficient and wear out faster. Fit four identical winter tires on the car to ensure maximum performance. Check the tire pressure. The depth of the sculptures is very important, especially for winter tires. It is 8 mm for new winter tires. At 6 mm, the braking distance on the snow increases by 20%, at 4 mm it increases by 50%, to 2 mm by 70%.
5. The Starter
If the engine starts with difficulty, do not force it. First, light your headlights briefly to warm up the battery. Then turn off the lights and ensure that all other energies consuming items are also turned off. Depress the clutch pedal (even if the lever is in the neutral position) and try starting.
You must not allow the engine to run for a long time before starting: it is terrible not only for the engine but also for the environment. Park your car at the garage at night, if you have one. Depress the clutch pedal at startup; the battery will work less because the engine will experience less resistance.
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