Motor Tips

As the icy weather sets in, here are some tips to keep you motoring through the winter months.

Frozen Lock

There are a couple of things you can do if your lock has frozen. Firstly, you could heat the end of your key with a lighter and that might do the trick. An even better solution is to keep a can of WD40 handy and spray some into the lock (obviously this won’t work if your WD40 is kept in the boot, so make sure you have a can at home or at work).


Flat batteries are a common problem in wintry weather because a cold battery has less cranking power. Also when it’s cold, oil thickens, so it’s more difficult to turn the engine over. To reduce the possibility of this happening to you, start the car every day and keep it ticking over for a few minutes. Even if you’re not planning on going anywhere, just a few minutes will revive the battery and mean that the car is more likely to start when you really need it to.

Lights and heating drain the battery, so another tip to ensure that all the energy is focused on making the car start is to make sure they’re turned off until it’s ticking over.
On average, batteries should be replaced every five years. If you think yours might be nearing the end of its useful life, why not bring it in to Whitkirk Motors and we’ll test it for you, for FREE.


You may have heard that reducing the pressure in your tyres will improve their grip in wintry weather, but in actual fact this is a myth and will affect your car’s stability. If your tyres are to have any chance of gripping an icy road, the tread on them needs to be no less than 2mm. In fact the deeper the tread the better.

For added peace of mind, you might want to consider fitting winter tyres. These types of tyres have a different tread pattern from regular tyres (wider grooves and more sideways grooves) which give a much better grip in snow, ice and rain. Winter tyres also have a shorter breaking distance – between 8 -11 metres less than ordinary tyres.

Contact us today to find out our best price for winter or all-weather tyres.


The main purpose of antifreeze is to prevent the engine block from cracking, which is what would happen if the coolant should turn to ice. The correct level of antifreeze should also prevent your radiator from freezing – a frozen radiator can cause the car to overheat as the coolant can’t circulate. It’s therefore essential to keep your antifreeze levels topped up. Do beware of mixing long-life and regular antifreeze though as this can cause problems. – if in doubt, just ask.


  • Keep your washer wiper fluid topped up as slushy roads can cause spray onto windscreens. Use a higher concentration in winter than you would for other times of the year. i.e. one part fluid to one part water. Also, make sure that you use fluid containing an anti-freezing additive.
  • Check all your lights are working properly and your number plate is visible – these are legal requirements
  • Drive sensibly – high gear for uphill, low gear for downhill. Maintain a constant speed wherever possible, brake gently, keep a reasonable distance between yourself and the car in front and don’t try and make any swift manoeuvres.
  • You never know when you might get stuck for hours on end. Crawling along guzzles fuel, so make sure you have plenty of petrol or diesel before you set off in bad weather. Another good idea is to keep a shovel and blanket in your vehicle, emergency food and a soft drink, ice scraper, de-icer, torch, WD40, jump leads and a tow rope. You should also make sure your mobile phone is fully charged in case you get stranded and need to call for help.
  • Remember, if you have any problems, bring your car in to Whitkirk Motors and we’ll soon get you going again.

    Happy motoring!

    Whitkirk Motors


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Whitkirk Motors
17 Kingswear Parade, Whitkirk
Leeds, West Yorkshire LS15 8LJ

Telephone: 0113 264 1573

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The garage is open 5 days a week:

  • Monday: 8.00am - 5.00pm
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