DRIVERS are being warned to be on high alert this winter – with five tips to keep their cars safe as temperatures plummet this week.
Icy conditions can make driving a real challenge and experts are warning motorists to be ready for anything.
The tips include everything from not leaving specific items in your car to keeping your tank full.
Certain items, such as aerosols or medications can pose a risk to drivers if left in cold cars overnight.
Some items are not only dangerous to drivers but can result in significant damage to the interior of vehicles once the freezing temperatures arrive.
So what should you avoid leaving in your car this winter?
1. Electronic Devices
Smartphones, tablets, laptops and PCs should not be left in vehicles overnight.
Not only is there a risk of theft, but they are also in danger of breaking if the temperatures drop below freezing.
Some smartphones, such as iPhones, have built in features that warn users if their device gets dangerously hot or cold.
Most Apple and Android devices have an optimal working temperature between 0 and 35C.
Leaving these devices in freezing conditions can lead to problems with battery life or even turning off.
Make sure you only have your electronic devices in the car when you are using it to avoid the potentially expensive repairs.
Those who regularly take medications are being warned not to leave it inside of their cars when temperatures drop.
Some medication can become less effective if stored in the cold for a prolonged period, while others can become potentially harmful.
Medication such as insulin could become ineffective if it freezes and will not be able to lower blood sugar, which could be fatal.
Some people report that injecting refrigerated insulin can also be painful and it can reduce the effectiveness of the medicine.
If you take insulin, do not leave it in the car overnight and do not use it once it has been frozen.
3. Aerosol products and tins
Extreme temperatures can have a big impact on aerosol products and even tins.
Freezing temperatures can often cause aerosols to become destabilised and even explode.
The water used to preserve food in tins can expand in colder temperatures, which can increase the pressure and could cause the container to explode.
Food items should be stored inside and aerosol sprays should be removed from vehicles over winter.
4. Wooden musical instruments
Winter can also impact wooden instruments, such as guitars and violins.
Colder temperatures can cause the wood to constrict, which means that stringed instruments will fall out of tune quicker.
Prolonged exposure to freezing temperatures can also lead to the wood cracking, breaking instruments entirely.
It's also worth not storing instruments next to radiators, as extreme changes in temperature can also damage wooden instruments.
5. Keep the fuel tank full
The one thing you should not leave your car without is a tank full of fuel.
While some motorists have struggled to find petrol during the recent shortages, experts recommend keeping the tank as full as possible throughout winter.
Having at least half a tank of petrol can make it easier to get going on your journey, as the petrol is less likely to freeze.
Whilst checking your petrol levels, you should also consider your tyre pressure is correct.
Cold weather can cause tyre pressures to drop faster which could impact your car's performance, or even have deadly consequences during icy conditions.
Experts are also recommending motorists update their 'winter car kit' with essentials such as chargers and battery packs, as well as de-icing equipment.
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