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How to Start Your Car in the Snow

Road safety charity the IAM is offering weekly motoring tips from Britain’s top advanced driver, Peter Rodger. This week he is advising motorists on how to prepare your car before you set off.

IAM chief examiner Peter Rodger said: “If the weather is really bad, think about whether you really need to make the journey before travelling. If so, ensure you take out the time to prepare your car for your trip.”

Rodger offers six tips to avoid seasonal car problems:

Don’t switch on the engine until you are ready to go; a modern car does not need to warm the engine up. Do put the engine on if you need to run the heater/demister before you move.

Clean your windows inside and out – a dirty screen will cause the windows to mist up much quicker.

Clean any snow off the car’s roof and bonnet as well as windows.

When you get in the car make sure all the extra electrical things are turned off before you try starting it (lights, heater, etc).

When you’re ready to go, switch the engine and heater on (air con if you have fitted, it keeps the screen dry) so that the windows don’t steam up.

Use the ‘ice’ setting if your car has one.

Rodger said: “Spending time to prepare your car for the weather conditions is important so that it copes well throughout your journey. Now is the time to check the battery and that your screen wash is the antifreeze version.”

To help drivers stay safe this winter, the IAM has launched a new website,, with traffic updates, weather forecasts and tips on how to drive safely in winter.

Tips cover rain, snow, ice, fog and wind – everything you can expect in a typically unpredictable British winter. Check it out before you travel.


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