For car owners, winter presents the worst possible conditions for keeping their car in good shape. In addition to the routine maintenance, this season requires you to prepare ahead of time for the extreme weather. Installing a set of winter tires and changing out your windshield wiper blades can be few options. There are numerous things you can do to cope with the harsh demands of the cold.
Winter car care tips:
Safety is an important factor to consider when we buy any car. However, your safety isn’t ensured just because you drive the latest or an expensive model. You will still need additional maintenance if you want your car to operate well in extreme weather conditions. Here, we have compiled 10 important tips for taking care of your car throughout the cold months.
1. Install winter tires
If ice and snow is a norm in your area during winter, it is important to switch your tires to the winter ones. Cold temperature can be especially rough on tires, so make sure your car is equipped with winter-friendly tires and that the tread is solid. Winter tires offer better protection than regular ones on slippery roads and lower temperatures.
Furthermore, be extra wary about the tire pressure in winter. Make sure you constantly check your tires. Keep the pressure to a healthy level, because tire pressure is highly susceptible to dropping when the temperature plummets. Lower tire pressure in winter can lead to premature wear or tread separation, both of which increase the risk of accidents.
2. Battery maintenance
Car batteries are hit hardest by cold weather. It is more difficult for a battery to function properly in extreme weather, especially if it is over four years old. Perform a volt test on your car battery and make sure it has enough cranking power to get you through the winter.
Make sure to pack a set of good jumper cables before the winter season sets in. The All-in-one power pack is a good portable investment for an emergency start. These things may cost you a little, but the last thing you want is to get stuck in the cold with a car that won’t start.
3. Use winter-grade wiper blades
No matter how fancy or expensive your windshield wipers are, the fact is that they are consumable items and need replacement every two years. Fog and snow will cut down your visibility, and you will need to clean the windshield constantly. Take the time to check your wipers when the cold weather arrives and install blades that aren’t prone to freeze up. Spraying a light lubricate at the base of the wiper arm is a good practice to keep it from freezing.
4. Check the fluids
Cold weather can impact your vehicle engine oil due to fuel and water contamination from engine block condensation. Change your filter and oil when the winter season sets in. It is also necessary to check transmission, brake, and power steering fluid levels at the start of the season.
Antifreeze or coolant keeps your car safe and drivable during the winter months. Before winter starts, make sure your car’s coolant is at the right level. Look for any leaks that could cause it to drain out.
5. Check your lights
This is a no brainer as the days are much shorter in winter months, which means that you will drive in the dark more. Check all the vehicle lights, including headlights, tail lights, turn signals, and internal lighting, and make sure they are in the best possible shape. Look out for potential replacement if the bulbs look foggy. Additionally, clear the snow off the lights before hitting the road.
6. Check Your Heaters
Before the winter hits, it is recommended to check your car’s heater and make sure it is working fine. Heaters not only save us from the outside cold but they also include the defrosting mechanism on your windshield. This ensures a clear and safe view while driving in extreme weather.
7. Washer fluid
Similar to antifreeze and other fluids, it is prudent to keep a high amount of washer fluid in your car. In winter, the salt and sand can get kicked up from the roads and hinder your visibility through the windshield. Hence, we recommend that you can use washer fluid to keep your windshield clean for a safe drive during winter.
8. Cleaning the locks and doors
Take the time to lubricate door locks, hinges, and window seals before the temperature drops. Spray the door and window seals to ensure they don’t freeze you out in the cold. It is advised to opt for the brand that comes with a spray straw. It enables you to get the spray down into the window glass channel-runs and lock cylinders.
There are several lubricating compounds available for mechanical and rubber components. Make sure you consult a professional for a recommendation.
9. Warming up the vehicle in winter
It’s a common myth among drivers that you need to start your car well in advance and warm up the engine before hitting the road. The fact is, it is not necessary to let the engine idle for an extended time. This only leads to a waste of fuel.
When starting, simply keep the vehicle idle for a few seconds and then put the vehicle in gear to begin oil flow and lubrication. If you are not an everyday driver, it is advised to start your car at least once a week. The purpose is to make sure the fluids in the car are moving around which will keep the car in good condition.
10. Keep an emergency kit in your car
You never know what will happen when you are out on the road in extreme weather conditions. It is, therefore, necessary to keep an emergency kit for winter in your car. So, if you end up in a situation where you can’t get help right away, you will be thankful for the emergency kit. The kit should include things like a flashlight, jumper cables, water, food items, shovel, and a blanket to keep you safe from the cold.
Author Bio: Michelle Joe is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences, and express herself through her blogs. You can find her on twitter: @michellejoe524