IS YOUR CAR READY FOR OLD MAN WINTER?
Slowly but surely you can feel the chill in the air, and that can only mean one thing. You better know how to winterize your car, because Old Man Winter is just about here!
Tune-ups, oil changes, and other routine maintenance check-ups are essential in keeping vehicles safe and in solid working order, but during the winter months with the threat of dropping temperatures and harsher weather conditions, this never holds more true.
Have a look at this checklist and get to it!
Snow/Storm tires – Investing in good tires allows your vehicle added traction in adverse driving conditions. A winter safety alternative is to use chains or studs on your tires but be aware that lawful use of these options may vary from state to state.
- Tire pressure – When the temps drop, so does your tire pressure. Check your pressure periodically to optimize tire stability, responsiveness and lifespan.
- Windshield fluid – It may seem like a no-brainer but this winter car care tip is often overlooked. Use wiper fluid with deicer to spritz your windshield clean in the winter, and always keep it topped up so your visibility is in tip-top shape!
- Wiper blades – These babies will see a lot of action in the cold, snowy months. So while you’re winterizing your car’s windshield fluid supply, also keep an eye on your wiper blades and replace them if necessary.
- Defrosting units – Driving in adverse conditions is tough enough as it is, don’t make it tougher just because you can’t see properly. A huge winter safety tip is ensuring your defroster is functioning well so that you can quickly and effectively clear your windshield and rear window, as well as thaw snow and ice.
- Battery – Testing a car’s battery tells you how much charge is left to withstand cold temperatures. You should also check battery cables and fluid to be sure all elements are in good working order.
- Engine oil – Routine oil changes are a must-do to keep a vehicle’s engine running smoothly. This is also true when it comes to winterizing your car. If you live in a climate that dips below freezing, switch to a thinner oil during chilly months. Your mechanic should be in the know on when to make this move.
- Engine coolant – Vehicles need a certain coolant/antifreeze to water ratio in the winter, to protect from overheating in cold temperatures (often 60% to 40%, respectively). Ask an experienced service professional to make sure your combo is up to par as you winterize your car.
- Gas tank – Keep this bad boy full. Failing to do so can cause condensation droplets to drip into the gas and work their way towards fuel lines. Should these fuel lines freeze, gas won’t be able to flow to the engine and where will you be going nowhere fast.
- Heating system – Driving in the cold is not very delightful, and it can also be very dangerous. Shivering causes the body to tense up, so reaction times can be much slower than usual and can also cause distracted driving. So at the top of winter safety tips is to make sure your car can reach a state of warm and toasty.
- Roadside emergency car kit – This is the high-five of winter safety tips, because should you get stuck somewhere in the winter, you will probably want to high-five yourself for having it handy. Pick and choose what will best suit your needs, considering items like: flairs, jumper cables, ice scraper, shovel, gloves, flashlight, blankets, wiper fluid, boots, engine coolant, bungee cord, radio, water, and granola bars.
Be safe, keep warm and enjoy Winter!!!