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- Volvo Has Built 600,000 Vehicles on the CMA Platform Since 2017
- Volvo’s Plug-In Sales Nearly Doubled Last Year
From its experience of harsh Scandinavian winters and testing north of the Arctic Circle, Volvo can help drivers to keep safe by sharing some winter driving and car maintenance tips.
Driving on snow and ice puts both the drivers abilities and the cars systems to the test. Volvo tests its cars to operate at -30ºC in a typical Swedish winter, so its no surprise that Volvo can offer plenty of experience of winter driving, and of designing cars to cope with a cold environment.
Looking after the car
Your car needs to be in the best condition possible to cope with the extra strain of starting and working smoothly in extra cold conditions.
1. To prevent the windscreen washer fluid, hoses and nozzles from freezing, and to avoid damage to the washer pump, add washer solvents with plenty of anti-freeze. Volvo dealers provide a handy winter kit containing washer fluid, de-icer, an ice scraper and cloth to clear condensation from the windscreen for £8.95.
2. Avoid using de-icing sprays on door locks as they can impair the locking mechanism. Volvo recommends a Teflon lock spray instead, available from Volvo dealers.
3. Make sure the engine has quality coolant that can cope with up to -35 degrees without freezing.
4. Fill the fuel tank regularly to prevent condensation in the tank and provide the maximum range and running time for the engine if stuck in snow.
5. Engine oil with lower viscosity (i.e. thinner) makes cold starting easier and reduces fuel consumption. For winter use 5W/30 oil is recommended, particularly synthetic types.
6. Check the state of the battery more frequently as the heater fan and all the electrical items being used put a greater strain on the battery and a poorly charged battery can freeze and become useless.
7. Volvo dealers offer motorists with any make or age of car a thorough 25-point Winter Check1 (plus a wash and clean) for £30.
Looking after the driver
The driver needs to be alert and prepared to drive with extra care, especially when braking.
1. Bulky winter clothes can dangerously inhibit a drivers movements. Volvos ergonomic dashboard designs always include large control knobs and buttons for essential functions so they can still be easily used when wearing gloves in winter.
2. Warm clothes and a shovel should be kept in the car in case the car gets stuck in snow, and Volvo dealers sell a wintry range of accessories such as flasks, rugs, and cosy fleeces.
3. Dont always follow previous tracks in the snow as this compacted snow is likely to be more slippery. The fresh snow between the tracks will offer more resistance and stopping power.
4. Always brake gently and allow extra stopping distance on icy roads, and if the car skids, steer into the skid, not the other way. Snow by the side of the road may provide extra stopping power and is always preferable to hitting oncoming traffic.
5. Air conditioning is not just for summer but equally important in winter as a dehumidifier to keep windows clear of condensation and give the driver better visibility. Electronic Climate Control, as fitted to all the latest Volvo range and tested to beyond -30ºC, is more advanced and works more effectively than air conditioning, and maintains a chosen temperature more quickly.
6. The air quality inside the car is another important safety factor. Cold temperatures have a negative effect on combustion, so the surrounding air is likely to contain more impurities in winter, so keep the air conditioning on to help purify the air. Thats why Volvo offers effective filters and an advanced Interior Air Quality System to keep cabin air as clean as possible.
7. Volvo advises against the temptation of turning the cars heating up too high when driving in winter. Volvos research shows that too high an interior temperature jeopardises the drivers reaction times and increases the amount of errors. A constant, comfortable temperature inside the car is an important safety factor. It is unhealthy and disorientating to have an extreme difference in inside and outside temperature.
8. Dont forget automatic transmissions usually have a winter setting to aid traction by starting in a higher gear than normal when pulling away in slippery conditions.