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Hints & Tips For Driving Your Car In Winter Conditions

Driving Your CAR in Winter Conditions


During this colder time of the year, winter can produce hazardous driving conditions and motorists need to take certain important measures to maintain their vehicles in top condition. That’s why we have put together this blog to give you some tips for driving in winter conditions. Snow, rain and ice can create very dangerous driving conditions on our roads, which can give rise to motorists contemplating whether to change from summer to winter tyres. However, there are no weather-specific rims on the market, particularly for winter use only. Another conundrum for the motorist is whether steel or aluminium rims are preferable at this time of year?

Let’s consider the options:

Steel v Aluminium Rims

There is a perceived view that steel rims are infinitely preferable in the winter months, but this is not necessarily the case. Steel and aluminium wheels both have their advantages and disadvantages, but the main drawback with steel wheels is the age-old enemy – RUST! Most steel rims are fitted with hubcaps and these inevitably scratch the wheel paint when being removed and refitted. This can produce a weak spot on the wheel and allow corrosion a foothold. During the winter months, this can be exacerbated by stones and other road debris getting lodged between the cap and rim; creating further scratching. This, along with the salt that is applied to the roads, is a sure recipe for corrosion to take hold and ruin your wheels. Aluminium rims are also more highly lacquered than steel rims, which leaves the latter not as well protected; having fewer layers of lacquer. Aluminium rims, therefore, possess better protection and resistance to corrosion as they are treated with a tough coat of powder coat primer, a base coat of colour and then coat(s) of a clear topcoat lacquer. However, if you do not look after your alloy wheels, they will not look after you! If they are not afforded proper alloy wheel care in the winter, they can become damaged.

During these months, dirt, salt and other road debris can remain on the wheels for a protracted length of time; ultimately scratching the surface of the rim, damaging the protective lacquer layer and resulting in premature corrosion. Regular cleaning and waxing of your alloys will assist in protecting your wheels for a long period of time. As always, care must be taken when driving in wet, snowy or icy conditions, your speed appropriate to the road state at hand. Despite being less susceptible to corrosion, they are prone to mechanical damage in winter conditions. Cosmetic damage can occur through not adapting to the weather, skidding and colliding with a kerb, damaging the rim. Aluminium wheels are not as strong as steel rims, so this type of damage may end up being mechanically irreparable, beyond economic repairable or (at best) extremely costly to fix.

As previously mentioned, there’s no such thing as specific a winter rim but should you one advertising itself as such, it’s probably an aluminium rim of a particular design e.g. with five spokes. These should be avoided during the winter as they require far more cleaning. It is far better to instead for simple design alloy wheels. Another feature to be wary of is a set of alloy wheels with polished edges, as they are very susceptible to winter conditions.

We hope that you found these tips for driving in winter conditions useful. We hope that you all have a safe experience driving in the winter months. We take great pride in the alloys we create and always enjoy seeing our customers enjoying them. If you are looking to get your alloys repaired or maybe you fancy a new set, then look no further than Refined Alloys. We offer a whole range of services from diamond cutting too welding.

For more information, contact us on 01992 252425 today!

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