Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Motor Trade Association's top six winter motoring tips

16 July 2014

MTA’s top six winter motoring tips

New Zealand’s winters can test even the most reliable cars, and the safest drivers, on our roads. Cold starts, icy and wet roads, early nightfall and heavy rains all put extra strain on the complex mechanical operations of the modern motor vehicle.

MTA Chief Executive Rob MacGregor says vehicles are more likely to break down when operating under extreme conditions, and motorists can make their winter driving much more enjoyable, safe and hassle-free by performing a few basic car care checks.

“Staying in control on the roads starts before you turn your car on – with fewer mandatory checks, motor vehicle owners are going to have to be a lot more aware of what’s going on with their vehicles,” MacGregor says.

“Small issues turn into major problems, if left unfixed; these can range from preventing you from getting where you are going and being expensive to fix and to being downright dangerous, for you and everyone else.”

MTA recommends motorists check the following parts of their vehicles, to keep them safe and working as they’re supposed to, all winter long:

1. Inspect your tyres.
Tread depth and tyre wear and condition have major effects on your vehicle’s stopping distances, and how well you stay on the road. Tyres do not always wear evenly, so check the whole tread – not just the inside edges. Also, get to know your tyre pressures – it’s often on the inside pillar on the driver’s side door – and check it regularly. Most service stations have free air pumps; if you fill your tyres when you fill your gas tank, both will last longer.

2. Check your fluid levels.
Follow the manufacturer’s recommended oil changes intervals: ignoring this can result in catastrophic engine failure. Also, check your coolant and water levels monthly – this protects modern motors from the huge temperature variations they go through, every trip. Finally, top up your windscreen washer fluid – and use a proper windscreen-specific additive; dishwashing liquid can corrode the metal parts of your washing mechanism. All of these are generally covered in a professional service by a good mechanic.

3. Replace your wiper blades.
If you find your windscreen frosts over in the early mornings, keeping an ice scraper in the glove box can be a good idea – and much better for your windscreen than pouring a jug of boiling water on it.

4. Keep your lights bright.
Winter brings fewer daylight hours and earlier nightfall – don’t get caught in the dark. Check all bulbs on your vehicle are working, including your indicators. Also, make sure the laminate in the light housing isn’t cracked, pitted or webbed; this can dramatically diffuse the beams, reducing visibility.

5. Check your brakes.
Does your car stop as well as it should? If your brakes wheeze, squeal or groan, instead of bite, you may need to get them checked. Brake pads convert the moving force of the whole vehicle into heat; it’s a tough and essential job, and they wear out. Replacing worn brake pads is much cheaper than replacing brake pads along with brake drums and rotors – which is what happens if you neglect them.

6. Look after your battery
In colder weather, your motor draws more charge from the battery to turn over. Whenever you open your car’s bonnet, make sure the battery is clean, and test that all connections are tight. If you have any concerns about how much power it has left, most vehicle battery shops will test this for free.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>

ALSO:

.

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>

ALSO:

Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>

ALSO:

(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election