Mr Clutch Autocentres wants to keep its customers safe in winter

While believing in the ‘weather forecast’ may have led us into a state of mild complacency in seasons past, writes motoring journalist Iain Robertson, the recent spate of seriously bad weather has highlighted a need to be more aware.

It has been a few years since the BBC’s Michael Fish made his weather announcement that led to the Kent town of Sevenoaks becoming One Oak. The Head Office of Mr Clutch Autocentres is in Kent and the county was among the first locations hit hardest recently by ‘The Beast from the East’, a Siberian winter storm that closed schools and roads and stranded many motorists.

To be safe in adverse wintry conditions, Mr Clutch Autocentres urges its customers to follow a strategic plan:

  1. Only drive when you absolutely have to
  2. Ensure that you dress appropriately
  3. Ensure that your mobile phone battery is fully-charged
  4. Ensure that you have emergency numbers saved in your phone
  5. Clear ALL snow from your vehicle’s bodywork before driving.

Sometimes, driving is essential, despite the state of the weather. Therefore, Mr Clutch Autocentres recommends that you drive with extreme care:

  • Avoid harsh acceleration that spins the wheels
  • Avoid sudden braking that locks-up the wheels
  • Use higher gears to reduce skid risk
  • Avoid jagged steering movements to maintain your car’s balance
  • Plan as far ahead as you possibly can.

Even when the roads might appear to be cleared of snow, there is still a high risk of ice forming and black ice is all but impossible to spot, especially at night-time. Therefore, it is vital that you maintain a safe amount of space around your vehicle and keep your speed down.

If you followed our pre-Winter preparation blog (; 7th December 2017), you will have noted that carrying a box in the boot that contains some important items was recommended. Just as Mr Clutch Autocentres always preaches that ‘preventative maintenance is better than cure’, to avoid the impact of adverse weather warnings, received from the Meteorological Office, we should pack a warm blanket, a folding shovel, some warm gloves, a dry pair of boots and a good coat.

Naturally, if you are a regular customer of Mr Clutch Autocentres, you may have taken advantage of our ‘Winter Service’ (, a 12-Point, £19.99 service that will have checked the condition and integrity of your vehicle’s battery and alternator, the condition of the wiper blades and the tread depth and air pressures of the tyres. All fluid levels would have been topped-up, all lamps checked and the washer bottle and coolant system would have been inspected for their resistance to freezing.

Just because the weather is foul does not mean that we have to become victims of its onslaught. Proper planning and preparation is the key to survival in the trickiest of conditions. Finally, make sure that whomever is waiting at your destination knows that you are on-route and on-time. Being safe during the winter months should always be at the top of your list.