Are you fond of winter? Even though most people adore snowy weather, they aren't particularly happy about winter-proofing their cars. This season imposes numerous challenges for drivers, ranging from slippery roads, draining batteries, and frozen windshields to getting stranded in a blizzard.
Hence, every driver is required to take certain precautions when the weather starts to get chilly, such as testing the battery, checking the antifreeze levels, inspecting the tyres, checking the brakes, and making a winter emergency kit.
Car batteries ensure vehicles start at freezing temperatures, whereas tyre pressure is vital for road stability. Make sure you purchase a ring air compressor for your car to keep the tyres inflated at all times.
Have a look at five simple ways to prepare your vehicle for winter.
Test the battery
Checking the car battery is one of the most important precautions drivers should take before winter starts. Cold weather is an enemy of batteries due to the additional strain it poses on their ability to provide sufficient power for autos to start. Deterioration of batteries starts during the summer period, as boiling weather induces the process of corrosion. Nevertheless, these die in the course of winter when becoming even more exhausted by below-zero temperatures.
Moreover, freezing temperatures increase the thickness of motor oil, causing extra strain to the motor. Hence, accumulators have to work much harder in order to start the engine, thus draining the life out of the battery. In order to avoid starting problems with your vehicle in the cold winter mornings, make sure you have your battery tested for corrosion and voltage.
Drivers can test their batteries by using a multimeter to check voltage, which should be no lower than 12.6 volts. You can also take your vehicle to the mechanic for proper examination, as these specialists immediately notice the signs of a battery that requires replacement. The price of car accumulators depends on the type and size suitable for your auto.
Check antifreeze and screen-wash levels
The following step of preparing your vehicle for the winter season is checking the antifreeze and screen-wash levels. Antifreeze is the miraculous liquid drivers desperately during the winter months, as it prevents the water inside the engine from freezing. It's paramount for drivers to purchase a kit designed to inspect the antifreeze levels in their car. Using such a tester will help you learn whether you use the right type of product and how much antifreeze you should add.
Besides antifreeze, drivers are supposed to replace their regular screen wash with winter windshield wiper fluid. The former is perfectly fine to be used in spring, summer, and autumn but it freezes when exposed to below-zero temperatures. Even if regular screen wash doesn't freeze when temperatures are above zero, it will only smear the dirt, snow, and road salt built-up on the windshield.
Winter screen wash, on the other hand, is designed to endure chilling weather without freezing, which makes it perfect for removing the snow and ice from the windscreen surface. This fluid allows the driver to clean his/her windshield without wasting too much time scraping ice off the surface.
Inspect the tyres
Good tyres are crucial for driving safely throughout winter when roads and streets are covered with ice and snow. Tyres are believed to provide the stability vehicles require to stay on slippery roads, which is why tire pressure should be regularly checked. Frosty weather induces deflation and affects the stability of cars.
Therefore, each driver is strongly recommended to use a gauge for checking the pressure and visit a petrol station if tyres need to be inflated. Also, you can invest in a tyre inflator to keep in the boot of your vehicle, ideal for emergencies. The pressure check-ups should be performed frequently to prevent pressure from dropping below optimal levels.
Another factor to inspect regarding the condition of your tyres is the tread. Since tyre tread provides traction, it's important not to be worn off. Otherwise, the risk of slipping off the road are substantially higher. Nevertheless, drivers dwelling in frosty climates are supposed to replace their normal tyres with winter models before the cold season begins.
Winter tyres are worth the investment due to the safety they provide to drivers. These are popular for offering better traction, stability, and control of the vehicle. Additionally, the stopping distance is much shorter and skidding is virtually non-existent.
Check the brakes
The brake system of cars should be inspected a few times in the course of winter, at least twice. Plenty of pressure is put on the brakes as a result of moisture and road salt, increasing the risk of rotor rust. In such scenarios, the performance of brakes is reduced, whereas the likelihood of accidents increased. Make sure you have your brakes replaced if necessary so as to avoid fatal consequences.
In addition, brake fluid should be regularly inspected to ensure it doesn't get dirty. Similar to winter screen wash, you can purchase brake fluid specially designed for cold weather.
Prepare a winter supply
Since storms are likely to happen during winter, each driver should have essential supplies stored in the boot of the vehicle, helpful for weather emergencies. It's common for drivers to get stranded during a blizzard or unable to get out of a snowbank. Hence, an emergency kit is vital, especially when travelling long distances after December.
Your emergency kit should consist of a flashlight, shovel, tyre chains, road flares, jumper cables, roadmap, road salt, ice scraper, batteries, and a hand crank. Also, drivers should have a first-aid kit, a change of warm clothes, extra gloves, medications, and blankets. Given the unpredictable nature of blizzards, there's no harm in carrying these items in your car boot. It's also a good idea to take some water and non-perishable food in case you stay in trouble for days.
Prepare your vehicle before the first snow.
The more you wait, the worse the consequences!