Is Your Car Ready For The Freezing Weather?
As fall starts to turn towards winter, most of the country is preparing to face winter storms and cold conditions that will last until spring. While winter-prepping your car can seem like a tall task, there are five basic steps that will help make sure that both you and your car are ready for whatever this winter throws your way.
1. Check Your Tires
Before the first storms hit, make sure that your tires are ready. Check your tire tread and pressure, as tire pressure tends to drop with the temperature. If you live in an area with lots of snow and ice, consider getting snow tires or snow chains for a safer time on the road. Otherwise, make sure you’re checking your tire pressure and tread on a regular basis throughout the winter.
2. Get Your Wipers Ready
Especially in areas where winter means a lot of rain or snow, having a good set of windshield wipers is crucial. Any buildup of salt or water damage on your windshield can greatly reduce visibility, so it’s important that your windshield wipers are tough enough to handle any storms. Additionally, make sure that your windshield wiper fluid has been refilled with a brand that’s designed for cold-weather wear and tear.
3. Get Lots of Fluids
Related to the previous entry, check to make sure that all of your car’s fluids are filled and ready to go. Wiper fluid, antifreeze mixture, oil, and gas all play a crucial role in making sure that you reach your destination safely, and even something as simple as oiling the car doors can help you reduce the risk of being frozen into or out of your car in extreme conditions.
4. Check That Battery
Make sure your car’s battery is ready for winter. Cold weather can shock your car’s system, so check to make sure that the battery is clean, the contacts are clear and non-corroded, and that your battery is winter-ready. A mechanic can run a full diagnostic on the battery if you prefer, but you need to be certain that your battery is ready for any sudden drops in outside temperature.
5. Cover Your Bases
This last entry is more about the human factors in having a winter-ready car. Pack a survival bag, make sure that you have car maintenance supplies on hand, and be ready to face the oncoming storms. At the very least, your survival bag should have warm clothes, blankets, and food in case of an emergency, and car maintenance tools should include a tire pressure gauge and jumper cables.
Winter may be a cold time of the year, but it doesn’t have to be as harsh and intimidating as the weather reports are always making it sound. As long as you’ve taken a few basic steps to make sure you and your car are both prepared, you should be ready to handle even the toughest winter weather!