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GEM launches Operation Clean Up with six winter grime-busting tips

GEM launches Operation Clean Up with six winter grime-busting tips

ROAD SAFETY and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist is encouraging drivers to keep their cars clean during the current conditions which have made the roads particularly dirty.

Heavy rainfall in December washed large amounts of mud and dirt onto road surfaces, but dry conditions since the start of January mean little of the grime has washed away. This has led to huge numbers of filthy vehicles, with windscreens and numberplates obscured, and lights covered in mud.

Rural roads across the country are particularly dirty at the moment, as local authorities spread salt and farm vehicles introduce even more mud from fields and yards onto the roads.

Low overnight temperatures are compounding the problem by obscuring windscreens with frost and causing wash systems to ice up.

GEM says this is the time to be making daily safety checks to reduce the risk of a breakdown and to ensure your visibility is not compromised by dirt or ice.

“It’s difficult to keep cars clean during weather like this,” said a GEM spokesperson. “Layers of salt and dirt will build up quickly. If left, car lights will become less effective, numberplates will become unreadable and it could be hard to see properly through windscreens.

Operation Clean Up: use GEM’s six grime-busting tips to stay clean and safe

Wash, wipe and rub
It’s hard to believe how quickly dirt builds on a car at this time of year. Before every journey, take time to remove any excess dirt and ensure all the lights and windows are free of grime.

Top up your washer bottle
If you’re covering lots of miles, you will get through a large amount of water on a journey during the current dirty conditions. So don’t wait for the warning light – check and top up as often as necessary.

Stop scraping your blades
Don’t use your windscreen wipers to clear ice as you risk wearing out the blades and causing stress and damage to the operating system. Equally, don’t use wipers to shift dirt if the windscreen wash is empty or frozen. Stop somewhere safe and clear the windscreen properly. 

Get down under
The underside of your car is particularly vulnerable to attack from salt and dirt. Give it a regular hosing to minimise the chances of any damage, and hose off any excess mud from brake discs.

Take it easy
Reduce speed and giving yourself more time to complete your journeys. By slowing down you will reduce the risk of skidding due to sudden manoeuvres. You will also reduce the spray and muck that’s thrown up from your wheels.

Keep your distance
Don’t follow too close behind lorries and other heavy vehicles. This is not only safe and prudent but it will also reduce levels of salt, dirt and other mess that gets sprayed onto your car.

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