Tips to keep your car running through Winter
Although many people are seasoned winter drivers, some may not be: a move to a new climate, a first time driver’s license, anything could have changed the situation regarding long work commutes or running errands throughout the city.
It doesn’t matter if winter has just begun or it’s half over – there are useful tips to prepare your car for the winter weather, or correct any issues you might be facing this season:
- Lighting: the sun sets sooner in the winter, making evening commutes a little more hazardous. Make sure all your vehicle’s lights are in working order and providing the brightest illumination possible. Check all fuses, bulbs, and remove foggy residue from headlights.
- Battery: it’s harder for a battery to work properly in cold weather. This means that a battery that’s weak but still works in summer could fail you once winter arrives. Perform a volt test on your battery and if it doesn’t work well, then make sure to replace it.
- Coolant: also known as antifreeze, this is a vital factor in keeping your engine from freezing in cold weather. Always make sure there is plenty of coolant in its designated reservoir. Also check for any possible leaks. Mechanics recommend a 50/50 mix of coolant and water which means a lower engine freezing point than coolant alone.
- Other fluids: gas and washer fluid are two other items to never let run too low. The more full your gas tank, the less likely accumulated water can freeze within the fuel pump. Also, a full washer fluid reservoir is important because roads get messy very quick due to slush, road salt, and other debris.
- Tires: winter tires are imperative to places where the temperature regularly drops below 45 degrees. They are better able to stay flexible in lower temperatures, providing better traction for stops and turning on cold pavement—snow or no snow. Also, keep track of tire pressure during the winter. Driving on low pressure during the cold can cause premature wear or tread separation.
- Winter emergency kit: any kind of emergency kit is helpful for the car, but during winter there are extra items you’ll want to pay attention to, like blankets, socks, or flares.
Keeping tabs on all these factors before and during winter will help keep you and your loved ones safe any time you have to head out on the road.