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Posted:16 December 2019 | Category: General,Road Safety

How to Prepare Your Volkswagen Van for the Winter

VW van in Ice

The sun is setting in the middle of the afternoon, and the roads are covered in frost of a morning. Winter is upon us, and that means that van drivers should be prepared for tricky conditions in the coming months. If you drive a Volkswagen van, here are some useful winter driving tips. 

Preparing your VW van for winter

Prevention is always better than cure, and with winter on the horizon, it’s critical to make sure that your Volkswagen van is in tip-top condition. If you’re due a service, book one today. Even if your van has been serviced and the MOT is in date, it’s a good idea to carry out winter checks before you hit the roads. Test the tyre pressure, inspect your wheels, and check the screen wash and oil levels. If you’ve noticed any unusual noises, your van doesn’t seem to be driving quite as well as usual, or there are warning lights illuminated on the dashboard, get the vehicle seen to as soon as possible. 

When travelling in the winter, it’s best to ensure you’re prepared for all eventualities, so stock up on essentials and make sure you pack the following:

  • Snacks
  • Bottled drinks
  • Warm clothing
  • Waterproof coat
  • Sturdy shoes
  • Blankets or a sleeping bag
  • Warning triangle
  • High-visibility clothing
  • Torch
  • Sunglasses: low winter sun can cause glare, which makes it difficult to see

Winter driving tips

Winter can be treacherous for drivers, especially those in charge of larger vehicles. When driving a VW van in winter, always take care to bear the conditions in mind. Check the weather forecast before you set off, and make sure you have enough fuel to either complete the journey or get to a petrol station with reserves in hand. If visibility is reduced as a result of heavy rain or fog, slow down, keep well back from the vehicle in front and use your lights. If the conditions deteriorate, and you’re struggling to see, consider pulling over in a safe place and waiting for the rain to stop or the fog to clear. Take care if the roads are slippery or icy.

You’ll need to increase your stopping distance and keep a firm grasp of the steering wheel at all times. If the roads are wet, or there is a lot of surface water around and you feel yourself starting to skid, take your foot off the accelerator, steer in the direction you want to go and then very gently apply the brakes. Speed limits are there as a guideline. If you’re on the motorway, and visibility is extremely poor and there’s snow or frost on the ground, it’s wise to reduce your speed significantly. 

Driving in winter can be dangerous, especially if there are weather warnings in place. If you have a VW van, and you’re going to be navigating the roads in the coming months, it’s advisable to ensure you’re ready for the challenges ahead. Book a service or a winter check, make sure you have supplies to keep you warm and comfortable if you break down and always plan ahead. Drive slowly and carefully, give other drivers time and space, and consider delaying a journey if the conditions are dreadful and the authorities and emergency services have advised against non-essential travel. If you’d like advice, or you’re keen to book a service, an MOT or a winter check, call Sinclair Volkswagen today.