As temperatures fall and you swap the sombreros for the snow hats and barefoot for boots, take a moment to think about your car and whether it’s ready for winter. 

Of course you could get out on your driveway in the rain and check it all yourself – or you could simply pop it in to your local Volkswagen Retailer where a trained technician will give it a thorough Winter Check for just £25*.  Not only does that £25 buy you peace of mind that your car is ready for those chilly mornings and icy roads, it also includes a Winter Car Care Kit worth £20. 

The Winter Check begins with an Express Visual Health Check to highlight any obvious or potential problems.  It then includes an oil and washer fluid check and free top up, battery and alternator check, as well as free fitting of any bulbs or wiper blades required when purchased at the Retailer.

Once any required work is complete, you’ll then drive away with a complimentary Volkswagen Winter Car Care Kit with screenwash, de-icer, cockpit care, ice scraper and cleaning cloth, as well as a £20 voucher towards your next battery, fitted before 31 March 2014. 

The Winter Check is available at participating* Volkswagen Retailers until 31 March 2014.  And even if you decide not to give your car a Winter Check, Volkswagen has plenty of handy hints and tips on keeping your car in top condition over the season, including a video which can be found here

Volkswagen has also launched its cold weather wheel and tyre programme which offers a wide range of wheels for driving in colder conditions.  It doesn’t need to be snowing for them to be effective: cold weather tyres are designed to work when the temperature drops to seven degrees centigrade and below.  The tread design and compound formulation are better than those on standard fit tyres at these temperatures, so they improve grip, traction, handling and braking.  The Met office states that average temperatures between October and March are generally below seven degrees, so it makes sense to fit cold weather tyres. 

Also handy to have in the car are Snow Socks, a cheap but effective traction solution which fit around tyres and improve grip.  They are only for use on snow and icy roads and should be removed before driving onto treated/cleared roads to avoid premature wear. 

For more sustained driving in snow, snow chains, also available from Volkswagen Retailers, are ideal – and are in fact a legal requirement in certain countries during the winter season.  It is a good idea to practice fitting them before having to apply them in poor weather conditions, and your local Volkswagen Retailer will be able to assist you with this.

For more tips or details on all winter accessories, please visit your nearest Volkswagen Retailer.

* at participating Retailers – call 0800 333666 to confirm availability.

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Emissions from diesel engines cannot be treated with the three-way catalytic converter because they operate with excess air. The use of a lambda control system to measure the amount of oxygen in the exhaust system is ruled out for technical reasons. So an oxidising catalytic converter is used to reduce hydrocarbons (HC) and carbon monoxide (CO) to carbon dioxide (CO2). It is, however, not suitable for converting nitrogen oxides.

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The Bi-Xenon headlight is a special version of the xenon headlight and allows a single headlight to generate both high and low beam. When low beam is selected, the light beam is partially shielded by a moving shutter. To switch to high beam, an electromagnet moves the shutter out of the light beam's path.

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Side-wind compensation gives our electromechanical power-assisted steering (EPS) extra comfort and safety. This feature helps when you are driving in a continuous side wind or on a severe camber. If the EPS control unit registers continuous countersteering, the power-assisted steering adjusts itself automatically and compensates. The fact that you no longer have to actively countersteer takes the strain away and makes driving easier and more comfortable.

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Volkswagen’s best-selling family hatchback, the Golf, which went on sale in the UK in January and has since won a string of accolades, has added a new title to its name after winning both the Family Car and, for the first time, the overall prize at the 2013 Scottish Car of the Year awards.  The award was presented last night at a ceremony held in Glasgow.

Commenting on the Golf’s performance, Alisdair Suttie, President of the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers, said: ‘Success can often breed complacency but that’s certainly not the case on this occasion.  In a world of uncertainty there’s something solid, familiar and reassuring about our Family Car of the Year yet at the same time this is a thoroughly modern machine.  Its engines are among the most frugal in the segment, there’s a choice of bodystyles and, to both look at and sit in, it feels a nudge above the rest.  Seven generations on and still going strong, take to the driving range in what we believe is every car you’ll ever need.’

Robert Hazelwood, Director of Volkswagen UK, said: ‘2013 has been the year of the Golf. Following a successful UK launch in January the car has gone from strength to strength. It has won awards on both a European and world stage – but the UK awards are the ones which have the most tangible results. Winning the overall Scottish Car of the Year accolade is a huge boost and our Retailers north of the border will be delighted with the additional success I am sure this will bring to the car.’

He continued: ‘From the standard hatchback, through the GTI and GTD performance versions to the economical BlueMotion and the spacious Estate, there is a Golf to suit every need and desire.  The Golf’s high levels of quality, safety equipment, technology and value for money have made it a winner, and we’re delighted these attributes have been recognised in this award.’

The seventh-generation Golf has been named overall World Car of the Year and European Car of the Year, as well as taking numerous awards from a number of publications.

The latest Golf is lighter, safer, more advanced, more spacious, more efficient and better equipped than previous generations of Europe’s best-seller, of which over 30 million have been sold since its introduction in 1974 – some 1.6 million of these in the UK. 

All Golf models come with seven airbags, including a driver’s knee airbag, five three-point seatbelts, ABS with ESP, XDS electronic differential lock and Isofix preparation for two rear child seats, while standard technology includes a 5.8-inch colour touchscreen, DAB digital radio, CD player, MDI interface (for connecting iPod or MP3 player), Bluetooth telephone preparation and audio streaming and eight speakers.  Also standard is ‘Climatic’ semi-automatic air conditioning, among a host of other features.  Prices start at £16,495 OTR, RRP.

The Scottish Car of the Year awards were established in 1998, and are judged by all 15 members of the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers, who represent publications and websites from across the country.

The ASMW was founded in 1961 and continues to represent the vast majority of working motoring writers/broadcasters in Scotland.  The membership includes staffers and freelancers covering radio stations, regional and national newspapers, websites and an array of specialist publications.

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