Driving Guide

【Prepare Thoroughly】Preparations you should make before the winter season

  • Q1
    What should I prepare?
    A1
    It is summarized in the "Check List"!

    Prepare for winter driving by referring to the Check List below.

    Stud-less tires and chains

    When using expressways in winter, always fit stud-less tires and prepare tire chains as well. Carry a jack for fitting tire chains. There may be situations when you suddenly need tire chains or roads are only open to vehicles with tire chains. It is also recommended to practice using tire chains prior to travelling.

    Snow Brush

    Accumulated snow on vehicles and windows is dangerous as it may block your view when driving. It is good idea to carry a brush to remove snow each time it accumulates.

    Deicer

    It is also convenient to carry deicer for when temperatures suddenly drop and keyholes freeze or wipers get stuck and do not move.

    Shovels and Ropes

    Shovels are very useful for clearing snow and compact types are available for carrying these days. It is also recommended to carry ropes for when you get stuck in snow.

    Booster Cables

    Batteries tend to run down during winter through heavy use of the wipers, heaters etc. It is a good idea to carry booster cables.

    Be prepared to spend a long time outside working in snow if the vehicle becomes stuck. It it is good idea to carry work gloves, boots, flashlights and winter clothing.

  • Q2
    Which parts of my vehicle should I inspect?
    A2
    A2 Let's focus on inspecting the engine bay!

    Vehicles need to be prepared for when the temperature drops and winter is coming. Pay particular care to inspecting these parts.

    Battery

    Battery function decreases rapidly when it is cold. Inspect the fluid level, specific gravity and voltage and top-up if required.

    Engine Oil

    Check oil levels and cleanliness. In low temperatures oil tends to congeal so top-up or replace after the checking viscosity.

    Window Washer fluid

    Windows require washing more frequently on roads in winter and the fluid needs to cope with freezing temperatures. When topping up, do not dilute the fluid too much but keep it close to its original concentration.

    Coolant

    If the concentration of coolant is too thin, it may freeze at low temperatures damaging the radiator. Check the level is appropriate and replace if the concentration is thin.

    Wiper Blades

    Wipers are used more frequently when driving in snow but will not remove dirt and snow effectively when worn. Check for wear frequently and replace when necessary.

    Stud-less Tires

    Stud-less tires have usage limits. Each season check the tread depth is at least 50% of that of the tire when new before fitting.

    ★ Hint from NEXCO Central Nippon!

    Please consult service area staff if you have difficulties.

    You can have your vehicle inspected for winter driving and ask for advice at gas stations in the NEXCO Central Nippon service areas. If you have questions, please feel free to ask staff nearby.

  • Q3
    What if I cannot prepare winter equipment in time?
    A3
    Renting a car for winter driving is an option.

    It can be convenient as rental cars are often already fitted with stud-less tires in winter (*) saving you the trouble of changing them yourself. Washer fluid, which is also used more frequently when driving in snow, is also topped up for safety at the beginning of each rental.
    * Some rental car companies treat stud-less tire installation as an option so please confirm when making reservations. Tire chains may also be fitted as an option.

    Notes on Rental Car Use

    You may find that you become more easily stressed or fatigued when driving a vehicle you are not accustomed to. Please take appropriate breaks when driving.