Everyone already has a pretty good idea of what kind of routine maintenance should be done on their cars. Everyday driving can and does take a toll on our vehicles. However, if you live in an area that gets winter weather such as ice, snow, sleet and low temperatures, you should do some winterizing for your car.
Winterizing your car is a good way to make sure that your car is ready for changing weather and road conditions. Performing winter care for your car will help give peace of mind while driving and will also help keep your car running well. In addition, you should be mindful of safe driving techniques. Let’s take a look at some things you can do to winterize your car.
You can use all-season tires in winter conditions however, this will not offer you the maximum performance you may need in your area.
If you live in a place that experiences extremely cold winter temperatures, it is recommended that you install winter tires when winterizing your car. It is crucial to remember that when the temperature consistently stays at or below freezing, the rubber compounds in non-winter tires harden. This decreases the tire’s ability to grip the road. Winter tires use special compounds engineered to resist hardening in cold temperatures, providing better traction in ice, snow, slush, and even dry pavement.
If you live in an area that doesn’t normally have intense winters, all-season tires should be fine to use. However, if you live in an area with harsh winters or regularly visit places that do, winter tires are the safest choice for you.
Every 10° change in temperature could mean a gain or loss of 1 PSI. This means you should check pressure more regularly during winter and add air to your tires as needed.
These wipers come equipped with rubber that helps to keep ice from collecting on the blades. Just be sure to remove them when spring comes. Since winter wipers are heavier than regular ones, keeping them on all the time increases the load on the wiper motor.
Replace your car’s windshield wiper fluid often during the winter. A single snowstorm can use a large amount of fluid, so refill the washer reservoir frequently with windshield wiper fluid formulated for winter conditions. If you are not sure if your washer fluid is the right formula for colder temperatures, you can add a bottle of washer fluid antifreeze to the reservoir. This can be found at most auto parts stores.
You should pack a kit with the essentials in case of an emergency. A good survival kit should include: matches, flares, a first aid kit, flashlight with batteries, ice scraper, extra coats and warm clothing and socks, jumper cables, back of salt or sand, and non-perishable food and water. You should also have a car tool kit and extra antifreeze on hand as well.
During colder, winter months make sure that your car’s gas tank is always half full. This will help prevent you from running out of gas and being stuck on the side of the road.
Being unable to see behind you could create unsafe driving conditions. When winterizing your car, be sure to check your rear-window defroster before cold weather arrives to be sure it’s working properly.
If you get stuck while driving in winter weather, safety is crucial. It is helpful to remember:
In order for your engine to run, it needs proper lubrication from oil. Unfortunately, cold weather will reduce the oil’s effectiveness. The colder it is outside, the thicker the oil gets, and thick oil will not circulate through your engine as easily as thin oil. When this happens, your engine does not get the lubrication it needs during start-up and you will be left with a car that will not start.
Driving in the snow or winter weather conditions does not have to be scary. You simply need to be prepared. As long as you take the appropriate steps to make sure that your car is properly winterized, driving should not be too big of an issue. Always use common sense and be careful out on the roads.