Brakes and tread key to keeping a grip this winter

We carry on looking at frost-proofing your van this winter by looking at tyre, brake and oil requirements. Missed our other two articles on Click through to view headlights and battery, antifreeze & windscreen advice for your van and it cover this winter.

5. Get a grip – winter tyres are, as of yet, not a legal requirement in the UK, however some brokers may offer you additional discounts if you can prove you have invested in a set and you use them in inclement conditions. Whether you have bespoke winter tyres or your usual set, you should still check their depth. For standard tyres, you’re not permitted to travel (or at least won’t be covered in the event of any van insurance claim) without meeting the minimum 1.6mm depth requirement between tyre wall and top of tread. Read more about winter tyres and the effect on van insurance in our articles: were snow tyred of waiting for uk legislation and AA van insurance and winter tyre cover. Having the right tyre pressure is also critical in winter. In order to ensure the correct balance for your van, enhanced fuel efficiency and to relieve unnecessary stress on your already overworked battery ensure that they are inflated to optimum effect (details will be in your owner’s manual).
6. Take a brake-check before the weather turns too inclement. Whether you think your brakes may be stiff or spongy, it’s not worth taking the risk hitting the road with dodgy brakes when there’s ice and snow on the road. Slippery patches are often invisible, unpredictable and once you catch a rink of black ice, you may as well hand the control of the van until you come out of the skid – but be ready to brake accordingly as soon as you feel the van grip terra firma, accordingly. One incidence of your brakes not working correctly and it’s not just keeping your next van insurance premium at a reasonable rate that you may be worrying about. Van, especially those closer to the 3.5 ton upper limit of the classification, can react instantly when braking in the snow. Don’t risk your livelihood.
7. Turn up the heat by running your air conditioning, to stop erosion of any of its components. The traditional heater is no longer just a case of opening a vent to let the warmth from the engine fill the cab, but rather controlled via the electronic circuitry of your air conditioning unit. Yes, make sure you run it, but only do so when you know your battery is at its optimum for peak performance.

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