Winter is approaching fast and it will be here before we know. Winter season brings with itself an enjoyable yet harsh weather especially if you live in snowy areas where driving can be challenging. Before you start dreading about the upcoming winter, we have collected a few tips for preparing your car beforehand. These tips will help you feel safer behind the wheel and save you from huge bill of mechanics. Get ready to winterize your car.
A car should get a basic tune-up every 30,000 miles. If your next tune-up is scheduled during winters, it is best to have it a little early. A basic tune-up should include checking your car seat belts, hoses, ignition, brakes, wiring, fan belts, spark plugs, air, fuel, emission filters and the PCV valve.
Oil For Winter Season
During winters, car need thinner oils in freezing temperatures. You should check your car’s manual for the right oil required at freezing temperatures and change your oil accordingly.
If you have to drive frequently in tough conditions during winters, it will be best to invest in snow tires either with or without studs. If new tires sound expensive, at least make sure that your car tires have the right air pressure for the winters and are not much worn out.
Cold temperatures mean that your engine will drive more current from the battery. Therefore, it’s necessary that your battery is functioning properly. You should make sure that your battery has enough charge left. Do ask your mechanic to check the battery fluid. The remaining charge can be measured using voltmeter or through a built-in hydrometer. Another simple way is to turn your headlights before starting your engine, if they get brighter after engine is turned on, it means your battery is dying out. You should also check the cables for cracks and brakes.
Windshield wipers are needed to be replaced every 6-12 months on wear and tear. If your windshield looks exhausted, it’s best to replace them. The regular washer fluids cannot withstand the freezing temperatures, replace it with a fluid that has an anti-freeze solution.
Car doors often freeze up in harsh temperatures, therefore, keep a hand sanitizer with you to de-ice your car keys.
NEVER Keep Gas Tank Empty
You should never let your gas tank completely empty during winter season. An empty gas tank can cause condensation i.e. water can drip into the gas and travel the fuel lines. Water can freeze in the fuel lines and block the flow of gas. It is advisable to keep gas tank filled up at least ¼ to ½ way up.
First Aid Kit
Keep a first aid kit ready for winter in case of any emergency. It should include soft-bristle snow brush, plastic scrapper, salt, shovel, flashlight, extra batteries, flares, gloves, coat, snow boots, a couple of blankets and tire chains for mountain driving.
You should also learn to drive a four-wheel before the winter hits. This will allow all four wheels to receive torque from the engine as greater force is required for driving through snow in winters.
Before the winter hits, check your engine coolant (anti-freeze) whose normal weather ratio is 50/50. However in winter, the typical suggested ratio is 60/40.
Defroster And Heater
During winters, you need your defroster and heater to function properly for a safe drive. These repairs can be expensive but you can save money by checking air-leaks around doors and windows. Sometimes leaks can make it seem that you have a broken defroster.
Bonus: Car Wax
If you are worried about your car’s paint getting damaged from snow and salt, get your body panel coated with car wax.
These tips will let you get through the winter safely. If you have tricks of your own up your sleeve, let us know in the comment section below.