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

Issue 49: Werewolf Weekender

Philip Matthews: From The Lost Continent
It’s a case of better late than never for Olivier Assayas’ marvellous After May/Apres Mai, which first screened at Venice in 2012, had a couple of North Island screenings last year during the International Film Festival’s “Autumn Events” season, got a theatrical release in Australia – but not here – and only now appears on DVD, after Assayas himself has moved on. More>>

The Complicatist: Blue Eyed & Soulful
For a while in June, the top two singles on the US Billboard charts featured Iggy Azalea, an Australian model turned hip hop performer. To some, this may seem like just the latest chapter in a long saga of whites ripping off black culture, while enriching themselves in the process. Obviously, there’s some truth in the stereotype. Yet it can also obscure the positive collaborations – in jazz, soul music and hip hop – between musicians who treated each other as creative equals, race regardless. More>>

Satire: Carry On Captaining
Oh hello. Scanner Technician Davis. To what do I owe the pleasure?
You think we’re what?
Oh, pish. This vessel has been travelling along smoothly for generations – particularly smoothly in the last few years though I say so myself – and I happen to know we have never once been hit by an asteroid... More>>

 

Parliament Today:

False Electoral Return: John Banks Sentenced To Community Detention, Community Work

“The conviction of John Banks today is another sad chapter for John Banks and the ACT Party”, says Labour candidate for Epsom Michael Wood. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Rise Of ISIS And Labour

While global attention got distracted by the fate of MH17 and the atrocities in Gaza, the world’s other mega ‘bad news’ story – the rise of ISIS-led fundamentalism in Iraq – has reached a tipping point. More>>

ALSO:

Rebuild: Christchurch City Council Releases Milestone Report

The Cameron Partners report says the Council may need to find an additional $783 million to $883 million by 2019... Options Cameron Partners proposed include increasing rates, borrowing more, maximising insurance payments, and freeing up capital from its commercial assets. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: Parliament Adjourns

The 50th Parliament has adjourned for the final time. After the completion of the adjournment debate, MPs left for the campaign trail with Parliament to be dissolved on August 14 ahead of the September 20 election. More>>

ALSO:

Novopayout: Government-Owned Company To Take Over School Payroll

After lengthy negotiations, the Ministry of Education and the existing school payroll provider, Talent2, have settled both on the amounts payable by Talent2 towards the costs of remediating the Novopay service and a new operating model for the school payroll system. More>>

ALSO:

Employment: Labour Will Raise Minimum Wage, Restore Work Rights

A Labour government will raise the minimum wage $2 an hour to $16.25 and restore work rights to ensure the benefits of economic growth are shared fairly by all New Zealanders, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. More>>

ALSO:

Police: Crewe File Review Released

No new evidence has come to light implicating any specific person as being responsible for the murders of Jeannette and Harvey Crewe... The review identifies there is a distinct possibility that Exhibit 350 (the brass .22 cartridge case) may be fabricated evidence, and that if this is the case, that a member of Police would have been responsible. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Issue #49: Gordon Campbell Interviews Laila Harre

For 25 years, Labour and National have been in virtual agreement about the basics of economic policy, and differed mainly on how to go about managing its social consequences. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news