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Getting your vehicle ready for winter with Nolan Motors

Free Winter Check-Up at Nolan Motors Balbriggan.

Every year we offer all our clients old and new a free winter check. Drop up anytime and we can give your car a quick inspection and discuss your winter needs.

Nolan Motors are trained qualified professionals and will help and advise everyone that drops up for a check up.

Getting your vehicle ready for winter

Is Your Vehicle Ready for winter? As the saying goes ‘Prevention is better than cure’, so take some time to prepare both your vehicle and yourself for the challenges of winter driving. Don't get caught out when severe weather strikes.

Your first step should be to get your vehicle serviced to ensure it is fit and safe for winter driving. Secondly you should carry out regular checks on the vehicle. You should:

  • check for wear and tear on wiper blades and replace them as soon as they start to smear rather than clean windows

  • keep tyre pressure at the manufacturer's recommended level and check you have at least 3 millimetres of tread depth

  • make sure all vehicle lights are working and clean and top up with anti-freeze and screen wash

Be Seen to Be Safe! When out on the road, walking especially in rural areas high visibility reflective clothing and lights are the only way to stay safe. As children make the journey to school often in the dark, make sure your child can be seen.


Get a grip. Remember your only contact with the road surface is your tyres so it’s vital that they are up to the task in icy and snowy conditions. Check tyres, including spare wheel, and replace them if the tread depth falls below 3mm. Check your tyres are inflated to the correct tyre pressure. Drive slowly in the highest gear possible, manoeuvre gently and avoid harsh braking. Replace tyres if necessary.

Make sure you can see

Clear your windows and mirrors before you set out, carry a screen scraper and de-icer. Do not use hot water on the windscreen as it can crack the glass. Replace windshield wiper blades if necessary. De-mist the inside of your windows thoroughly. Make sure your windshield washer system works and is full of an anti-icing fluid. The glare from the sun can be dazzling in the winter when the sun is low in the sky, so wear sunglasses in these conditions.

Check & use your lights . Use your dipped headlights so that others will see you. Make sure lights are clear of snow.


Gently does it. Manoeuvre gently, slow down and leave extra distance between you and the vehicle in front. Too much steering is bad and avoid harsh braking and acceleration. Use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin. Select a low gear when travelling downhill especially if through bends. Falling snow, fog, rain, or hail will reduces visibility. Do not hang on to the tail lights of the vehicle in front of you as it can give a false sense of security. When you slow down, use your brakes so that the brake lights warn drivers behind you.

Watch out for "black ice." If the road looks polished or glossy it could be, "black ice” one of winters worst hazards: Black Ice is difficult to see! It is nearly invisible.

Service your car

You should get your car serviced before winter sets in to make sure it is ready for the conditions which will undoubtedly arrive when least expected! There are some things you can do yourself:

  • Lights - make sure all your indicators and headlamps are clean and working

  • liquids - make sure the water reservoir is up to the maximum mark and correctly mixed with anti-freeze. You may also need to top up your coolant and screen wash

  • Oil - check your dipstick and top up the oil if necessary. Look for signs of leakages on the ground under the car

  • electrics - check your dashboard before and after starting the engine. Listen for a weak battery and replace if necessary

  • Windscreen wipers - you should clean them regularly and replace them every 12 months

  • Tyres - check your tyre treads and pressure, including the spare. While the minimum legal limit is 1.6mm, a minimum tread of 3mm is advised for winter driving

  • Safety assist - Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual and find out if it has any safety assist technology such as ABS

Emergency equipment

Be prepared - Emergency equipment to have in your car:

  • high Visibility Vest

  • hazard warning triangle

  • torch with batteries - check it monthly

  • tow rope

  • shovel

  • jump Leads

  • fuel Canister

  • spare fuses and bulbs

  • de-icing equipment (Both for glass and door locks)

You should also have a first aid kit and a map or GPS (charged) along with the following items:

  • appropriate clothing and footwear in case you have to leave your vehicle

  • charged mobile phone

  • some simple supplies to sustain yourself (drink and food)

Planning a journey in winter

Do you really have to travel by car? You could consider delaying your trip until the weather and road conditions improve. Use public transport where available. If you really have to travel by road, be prepared for severe conditions.

Ensure your vehicle has a more than adequate supply of fuel for the journey. If possible keep your fuel tank full in winter. Check your emergency equipment.

Allow extra time and drive with caution. Let someone know your route and when you expect to arrive.

Be careful with your route

Check to see if there are any problems on your intended route be-fore you leave. Information is available from Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) website and you can follow them on Twitter @TIITraffic . You can register with TII to receive email alerts for a chosen journey, and there is also an TII app available to registered users.

Listen to TV or radio bulletins and check the weather forecast. Remember that the best road conditions are likely to occur between 10am and 4pm.

If you do not know your route, and are using SatNav/GPS, be sure it does not bring you over a dangerous route, such as across mountainous terrain or along narrow back-roads, which may be hazardous due to snow and ice. e.g. Sally Gap, Co Wicklow or Barnesmore Gap, Co Donegal. Do not rely totally on a SatNav/GPS, look at your route on a map.

Driving in hazardous conditions

Remember the following serious hazards:

Snow and ice will always be worse in mountainous areas and higher ground – try to route around such places. There is information about road conditions and road temperatures on .

Beware of high sided vehicles in strong winds, particularly when over-taking. If you are driving a high sided vehicle try to anticipate exposed sections of roadway where winds will be stronger.

Beware of fallen trees or other debris

Leaving your vehicle is dangerous, wear a high visibility jacket and use your hazard lights to enable other traffic to avoid collision with your vehicle. However, on a motorway, it is safer to get out of your car and stand behind the safety barrier. Call for assistance immediately.


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