Car Care Tips for a Trouble-Free Winter
Winter, particularly for those who live in the colder areas, not only brings snow, but several problems to go with it. Anything from slippery ice to salt to improperly shoveled snow piles fills the daily life of those who take advantage of the road. On top of this, adjustments must be made to driving habits and outer care for the car, which can seem overwhelming. Thankfully, with the proper know-how and modern technology you can keep your car in fine working condition and safe from the annual hazards. By following these tips, you will be well on your way to experiencing a trouble-free winter.
Let your car warm up idly for a few minutes before you drive it. This can be done while you’re still getting ready to leave inside your home, or cleaning your car’s windows of any snow debris. Taking this step is important to make sure that all oils and fluids in the car are circulating properly before moving it. In older models, the car runs more efficiently once the engine has had a chance to warm up, so be sure to make a note of it. It may not be completely necessary these days but it certainly doesn’t hurt to play it safe, either.
Have your windshield wiper blades replaced. This should be done twice a year anyway, and make sure one of those times is just before or in the early stages of winter to avoid unwanted surprises. You will need to use freezer resistant fluid, as any other kind, along with water, will not work properly under chilly conditions. In all likelihood you’ll be using it a lot, so keep some extra containers stored in the trunk or backseat to have at hand for emergencies. Check to see that the reservoir the fluid is stored in is full every week or the soonest you can remember.
As part of your car care tips for a trouble-free winter, keep your gas tank at least half full at all times. If this step is not taken there is a real risk that the fuel could freeze, conceivably leaving you stranded at the worst possible time, like in the middle of a storm or an empty road. If your car has issues with the fuel gauge you will have to exercise extra caution and fill up the tank a lot more often.
Contemplate having your regular tires replaced with snow tires. During this particular time of year, regular tires may not be able to handle several inches of snow and you risk slipping or simply getting stuck. Traction is definitely a good thing.
Keep your car clean, washing it as often as time will allow. With all the salt and slush that will build up the car will become noticeably filthy, especially on lighter colored vehicles. Make sure to give all the harder to reach areas a rinse, to keep the salt from the road from rusting them.
Put together an emergency kit to place in the trunk of your car. This kit may include items such as a blanket in case you get stranded, a first aid kit, flares to get the attention of another car, bottled water, kitty litter to help with traction, an ice scraper, spare boots and gloves, and so on. Be aware of the typical amount of passengers in the car in order to calculate how much for each you might need.
If the car is not used very often, take the time to let the battery run for a few minutes every so often. During the winter, neglected cars tend to die from frozen batteries and need to be jump started to function again. This winter car care tip includes having the battery checked by a technician if it’s older than three years.
Inspect all hoses and belts for any defects. It should only take a simple look-over to find them.
Most important of all, if the weather is too dangerous for travel, heed the warning and stay put. This is the best way to stay safe regardless of any other precautions, and your car will not be destroyed from any accidents.