Venson helps drivers keep cars ticking over

Date Posted: 04/12/2020 16:53:02

Whatever the weather or COVID brings this winter.

As the UK enters winter in tiered lockdown, Venson urges businesses to work with company car and fleet drivers to ensure vehicles are winter ready. Whilst company cars may not be on the road so much this winter, just a few preventative measures and checks will help keep drivers safe, mitigate downtime and extend vehicle life.

“It is all the more important to take care of cars and vans in winter as harsh weather can affect every part of the vehicle,” Alison Bell, Marketing Director at Venson Automotive Solutions comments. “Batteries are at higher risk of failure in cold weather, as the liquid electrolyte solution used to transfer power is less efficient in low temperatures. The problem is exacerbated when the vehicle sits unused for longer periods of time as the battery gradually loses charge and then cannot transfer its remaining power due to the cold. Therefore, fleets should encourage their drivers to run the engine regularly if the car is not being used at all or is used only for short journeys. It is also helpful to take a longer drive once a week, if driving conditions are safe, to ensure the battery has time to recharge.

With garages and service centres remaining open, scheduled servicing and MOT visits should continue and not be put off. Coupled with this, daily or weekly vehicle maintenance checks to keep an eye on areas such as fluid levels, windscreen damage, working lights and tyre conditions are very important. For tyres the driver should check they are inflated to the PSI rating shown in the vehicle and inspect them for cracks and wear. Tyres in poor condition are dangerous in perfect driving conditions but can become lethal on icy or wet roads.”

Alison Bell continues, “Adhering to service schedules and carrying out basic vehicle checks will ensure the vehicle is prepared to face the typical winter weather while helping to keep both the driver and others safe.”

Managing Winter Fleets Amidst COVID-19 Challenges

  • Continue with service schedules and MOT bookings.
  • Provide drivers with a clear and easy-to-follow essential maintenance checklist to carry out each week, including tyre tread (minimum 3mm), wiper blade condition,  headlights and glass, levels of oil, coolant, screen wash and de-icer.
  • Remind drivers to check their vehicle condition in daylight or a fully lit garage.
  • Keep essential telephone numbers – breakdown provider, fleet team number – not just in a phone but in the vehicle as a back-up.
  • Consider providing drivers with a safety kit to keep in their vehicle - high-visibility vest, a blanket, torch, first aid kit and phone charger.
  • Use the vehicle’s onboard tech to make journeys safe, smoother, and more comfortable. For example, SatNavs with traffic data and the latest map updates installed, remote engine start and apps that monitor vehicle health.
  • Winter driving throws all sorts of challenges at motorists, from wet, icy roads to dazzling sun and poor visibility, so helping drivers plan ahead can help avoid incidents.
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