5 Tips for Driving Your Land Rover in the Snow

Jim’s Land Rover Defender Station Wagon in the Snow last year.

1. Pre-check!

Of course, before driving in the snow, make sure you check that everything is functioning and working on your Land Rover. Check your oil and coolant levels and ensure your screen wash is full, consider adding anti-freeze to it too. Ensure all your lights are working and that your windscreen wiper blades are in good condition. 

You should also check your tyre tread too! For winter driving, you should have between 2-3mm at the very least as you will not be able to grip icy roads otherwise. Do not over-inflate your tyres as this can reduce grip. Similarly, avoid under-inflation as this can also reduce stability. Check your handbook to work out the best option for you. 


2. Ideal Equipment to bring with you

When driving your Land Rover in the snow, especially if off-roading, it is best to carry extra equipment with you in case of an emergency. A shovel (to help dig you out of a tight spot), heavy-duty jump leads, a tow rope, torch, blanket/ warm clothes, snow chains, traction aids, and a light bulb kit


3. Rules to Remember

  • DO NOT use warm water to clear your windscreen as it may cause your windscreen to crack. Avoid recirculation mode on your heater as it will make the interior more humid. 
  • Allow for greater stopping distance between cars and keep your speed slow to help you remain in control. 
  • Steer gently, brake progressively, and be cautious with the throttle.
  • Inform a friend or family member of your route so they know where to look if you are later than expected.
  • Follow the weather closely and allow for extra time. 


4. How to handle snow

  • Remove snow from your roof – if you accelerate, you stand a chance of it falling onto your windscreen and blocking your view. 
  • Change to a higher gear as soon as possible.
  • If you get stuck, straight your steering wheel. Get out of the Land Rover and clear the snow from beneath your tyres using the handy shovel in your trunk. 


5. How to handle ice

  • When you are moving on packed ice, use the highest gear possible to aid grip of packed ice and keep your speed down.
  • Leave 10 times the normal recommended stopping distance between you and the car in front. 
  • If you skid, avoid braking hard, keep your hands on the steering wheel, and steer into the skid. If your car is sliding to the right, steer right for example.
  • Be careful of particularly icy spots – shadows cause certain areas to become icier. Other obstacles, such as overpasses and bridges, also ice over quicker than normal roads so take extra caution.


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About Scarlett Mansfield

Scarlett Mansfield formerly worked as a marketing strategy consultant at Britcar. She holds a master's in History from the University of Oxford. In the summer of 2018, Scarlett drove a 2002 TD4 Freelander from London to Mongolia and back (17,000 miles) without any conversions/ alterations to her car! Just goes to show what can be done with the motor sat on your drive.