Your next used car: The best features for winter.
We've had snow all over the country, mince pies are on the shelves and it's only light for 30 seconds a day. Winter is well and truly here. In times gone by this was a moment that motorists all over the country would dread – how could we possibly make it through another one of these? They would ask.
With the help of modern technology driving through winter is now a much easier affair. In this weeks blog post we look at some of the features to look out for when purchasing your next used car.
Heated interior technology
Heated seats have been around for 55 years now, first being introduced in the '66 Cadillac Fleetwood. These fantastic contraptions are not only great for keeping your curry warm on the way back from your local takeaway but are also incredibly comfortable. Once you've made the transition to heated seats nothing else can compare in the winter.
Heated seats are made possible by using electricity to heat a wire element laced underneath the padding of the seat. This wire element allows for resistant electricity to flow through, this resistance creates friction which is then emitted in the form of heat. To prevent overheating or fires electric seats come with a thermostat which will detect when the seat is at a set temperature and proceed to reduce or cut power completely until it cools off.
If heated seats aren't quite enough for you there's also heated steering wheels available. These aren't exclusive to premium vehicles either with heated seats and steering wheel even being available on a higher spec Vauxhall Corsa. With these features becoming more common across the board, you wont have to look too hard if you want them on your next used car.
As technology has improved over the years cars heating systems have become better than ever. In the old days you would be waiting for hours, days or even weeks for your car windscreen to clear (apparently) but thankfully that's a thing of the past.
Virtually all cars come with a rear heated screen but what really makes life easy in the winter is a front heated screen. This option for many years was mainly found on Fords or brands owned by Ford however with their patent now expired a heated screen can be found as an option on many other models.
These screens are brilliant for clearing the windscreen in seconds allowing you to make yourself a hot chocolate and chuckle as your neighbours scramble to de ice their cars the old fashioned way. Try not to look too smug as you hop in and leave.
Four wheel drive
Have you ever tried to drive a front or rear wheel drive vehicle through heavy snow? It can be a lot of fun but isn't very practical. When the snowfall comes there's nothing better than a car equip with all wheel or four wheel drive technology (there is a difference between the two). With all four wheels being driven a car is much easier to drive through rough terrain or low traction environments. This can be especially important if you live in more rural areas where the roads aren't salted and phone signal is a foreign concept.
While all wheel drive is often associated with Land Rovers and off road vehicles there are plenty of regular sized cars that come with the technology. Audi for example offer their Quattro variants on a variety of road going models.
Following on from the last item on the list, we have tyres. The very best all wheel drive system in the world would be useless without the correct tyres. Tyres can make or break your journey in bad weather conditions and a good set of winter tyres on a two wheel drive car will be much more effective than a set of summer tyres on an all wheel drive car.
Winter tyres are designed specifically to deal with cold temperatures below 7 degrees Celsius. Winter tyres often come with deeper tread than summer variants and are much more flexible at low temperatures. This flexibility allows for much better heat generation and by extension better grip in the cold. If you plan to do regular driving in rural areas, winter tyres are a worth while investment.
In a time before fuel injection was mainstream, most vehicles used carburetors to deliver their fuel. This meant that cars would become difficult to start in the winter without the aid of a choke to increase the fuel to air ratio.
With modern cars the fuel delivery system is computer managed which means you can simply switch the car on and go. Thankfully this technology is universal and any modern used car you buy will use some form of fuel injection. This isn't generally something you think about when buying a used car but is worth bearing in mind if you're looking at the classic market.
Thanks for reading this weeks blog post, we will now leave you with a shameless bit of self promotion;
If you're looking for a used car with any of features listed above, we can help. Our network of stock covers 1000s of cars across the country meaning that we can find the perfect used car for you at a reasonable price. We consider all vehicles for part exchange and offer various finance options through our providers. Interested? call us on 02380 229 297.