Winter weather conditions can change at a moment’s notice, and if you drive on our roads every day you will need to adapt and be prepared for untimely snowfall that makes roads slippery and hampers visibility, ice that can lay hidden around the next bend or on a bridge, daylight fading quickly to dusk, etc. We’ve put together some tips to help you stay safe.
Preparing your car
- Put on four winter tyres in good condition.
- It is worth remembering that winter tyres are compulsory in Luxembourg during periods of wintry weather, regardless of the time of year. Wintry conditions include ‘icy patches, packed snow, thawing snow, slabs of ice and frost’. All four winter tyres must bear the letters M+S, M.S. or M&S or the mountain and snowflake icon.
- Have the battery checked, because this is still the number one cause of breakdowns at the ACL. It is worth remembering that the average lifespan of a battery is 4-5 years, although there are, of course, several factors that affect the condition of the battery, such as weather conditions, digital functionality and any accessories that might be connected to the vehicle's electrical system.
- If it’s not in good condition, we can change it for you at the ACL Diagnostic Center.
- Check the lights.
- Treat the door seals with glycerine or candle wax, for example, to prevent the frost from sticking the door rubber to the metal of the bodywork.
- Check the wiper blades and replace them if necessary.
- Top up the screen wash with antifreeze.
- Book a Test Hiver winter test at the ACL- Diagnostic Center.
- The ACL Diagnostic Center offers a Test Hiver winter test to ensure your car is ready to take on the winter. During the test, the specialists at the Diagnostic Center will check the condition of your car and whether it is protected against the hazards that winter driving can bring with it based on a series of technical specifications.
- The winter test, which costs just €39.00 for ACL members (€67.00 for non-members), checks the brakes and general tyre condition, suspension, steering, shock absorbers, chassis, transmission, lighting, antifreeze, alignment and exhaust system and also includes a visual inspection of the engine and alternator and an OBD (On Board Diagnose) reading. Book your winter test now by calling the ACL-Diagnostic Center on 45 00 45-6007 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
What winter equipment do I need?
Once you’ve had all the necessary checks performed on your car, all that remains is to pick up a few essentials.
The ACL recommends keeping the following in your vehicle:
- a scraper and a de-icing spray;
- gloves, a warm jacket and a blanket;4
- antifreeze fluid for the screen wash;
- an antifreeze spray for de-icing the locks or fuel cap (to be kept outside of the vehicle);
- windscreen protection;
- possibly battery cables.
Before you set off
- The first thing you do before taking to the road in winter should be to check the weather and decide whether you might need to delay your journey. If you're going on holiday, it's better to postpone your departure than to drive in snow or rain that could turn to ice, meaning that the driver has to deal with extra risk and stress.
- Check your route and set off well rested in a vehicle that is in good condition (see opposite) and correctly loaded.
- If your vehicle is not parked in a garage overnight, the car must be cleared of snow and all the windows must offer good visibility before you set off.
- Do not leave the engine ticking over unnecessarily in the morning - it's bad for the engine, harmful to the environment and more importantly against the law!
During the journey
- Allow more time to reach your destination in cold weather. Skidding often occurs when the driver is driving too fast for the road conditions.
- Maintain greater safety distances. Untimely overtaking and sudden acceleration or braking can lead to the driver losing control of the vehicle in icy conditions.
- Reduce your speed, even below the limit, to ensure you always remain in control of both your speed and your vehicle.
- Do not overtake winter service vehicles in operation.
- Deactivate the cruise control function when driving on wet roads.
- If you have to travel long distances, don't forget to take a break every two hours, because driving in tough weather conditions makes you tired and it’s wise to avoid feeling drowsy at the wheel.
Ask our consultants at the ACL for advice. They will be happy to inform you about traffic conditions, the technical aspects of your vehicle and anything else you might need to travel safely.