It’s winter! It’s the most wonderful time of the year. We know winters bring a lot of joy, but they also bring a lot of worries. The holiday season brings everyone together, but the harsh weather conditions can sometimes be scary.
One such problem is the damage it poses to machinery. Winters are not friendly to machinery, especially when you’re not taking the necessary precautions. And cars are no exception. If you do not follow proper guidelines, your car may suffer damages or breakdowns due to the weather.
Accidents and engine failures are common in such freezing temperatures. And it gets harder to drive safely on the roads. So, ask yourself, “Is your car ready for the challenges of winter?” If you’re unsure, follow these tips to prepare your car for the frosty weather.
- Make a Winter Safety Kit
One of the most important things you should do as soon as winter comes is to keep emergency supplies in your car. These will serve as a safety net if any emergency or inconvenience arises. These supplies should include the following:
- basic tools such as wrenches and screwdrivers
- a spare set of clothes or a blanket to keep you warm in case of engine failure
- flashlights, flares, matches, and batteries to signal for help or navigate
- a spare tire in case of a tire puncture
- first aid kid with basic medical supplies in case of sudden illness or injury
- water and long-lasting items of food such as biscuits and crackers
- jumper cables so you may attempt to jumpstart your car
- tow rope with hooks in case your car breaks down and you have to tow it to a safe place.
These supplies will come in handy if you become stranded or lost due to bad weather. With the risk of extreme weather conditions, preparing for roadside emergencies during colder months is the smartest thing you can do.
- Brake Fluid Level Maintenance
Brake fluids provide force and create hydraulic pressure when you press the brake pedal. It helps your car slow down and stop. However, the brake fluid might get extremely thick and dense when the temperature is very low. Consequently, it no longer remains effective and may even result in brake failure.
If the brakes of a vehicle aren’t working correctly, the risk of accidents increases significantly. Therefore, you must do a routine checkup to ensure your brakes are in perfect condition. Doing so is extremely important, especially in frosty and slippery weather conditions.
Along with your brake fluids, it’s necessary to get your brake rotors and pads checked regularly.
- Engine Coolant and Antifreeze Service
For your car to work efficiently, you need engine coolants and antifreeze. That’s because the engine begins to operate at optimum temperature due to the antifreeze. It doesn’t even take long to attain this result. The car coolant removes excess heat from the engine, but adding substances such as antifreeze keeps it in optimum balance for the winter. Antifreeze prevents corrosion and scaling in your car engine. On the other hand, it also prevents rust and corrosion on the metals in the engine. Consult an expert about the best ratio between antifreeze and coolant in the winter.
- Car Battery Inspection
Inspect your car’s battery while preparing your car for the winter season. You might want to consider replacing it if it’s over three years. When the temperature dips below 32 degrees, a battery loses 35% of its efficiency! So park your car in a place like a garage or a basement where the temperature is higher. It will also prevent the snow from landing on your vehicle.
Check fluid levels and refill when required to prevent the battery fluid from evaporating over time. You should also make sure your battery terminals aren’t defective. Ensure they are free of issues such as corrosion. If you don’t inspect your battery, you might find yourself stuck in the bitter cold with a defective self-ignition switch. Even a minor glitch in the battery could cause trouble and stop your car from starting.
- Inspect Wiper Blades and Headlights
Your wiper blades should be working perfectly. Inspect them to see if they are showing any signs of damage. Due to fog and snow, visibility can often diminish in frosty conditions. If your wiper blades stop working, the snow will pile onto your windscreen, creating a hazardous situation.
To avoid potential accidents or loss of vision, clean your wiper blades with warm, soapy water and your windshields and headlights at least once a week. Your headlights should also be clean because dirty headlights do not pass light. As a result of this, driving in darkness is less safe.
- Check Air Pressure and Inflation of Tires
In the winter, you should inspect and refill your tires more frequently. Low temperatures cause low tire pressure, and unless your vehicle has the correct conditions maintained, this could mean risk and danger.
Other than this, check the tread depth of the tires. In winter, it should be thicker so your car can grip the road with greater force and stability. Many people opt for special winter tires for driving through snow, slush, or ice without losing control. You could consider them as well.
- High-Quality Engine Oil
Cold weather slows oil flow, making it thicker and more viscous. For this reason, it is more challenging to pump and flow the oil through the engine. It also exerts tremendous pressure on the oil filter, which might cause internal damage. Due to this reason, thinner and less viscous oil is required for the engine in winter for the best performance.
In addition, high-quality engine oil gives better protection against harsh weather conditions. Consider a car oil change as the weather shifts. When your engine runs optimally, your vehicle’s overall performance boosts. For these reasons, ensuring that your car runs on proper, high-quality engine oil is crucial.
While taking care of your car is essential all year, it is especially important during the winter. It is challenging for car owners and drivers to maintain their vehicles and keep them in prime condition. Therefore, it is better to take precautions before any damage occurs. These tips will protect your car from damage and prepare it for the frosty season!