With winter seasons and cold seasons a regular part of life an people having to move through life going to work, travelling and so on, we can’t help but use our cars in the cold, even if the fact has been established that cars and the cold don’t mix.
You couldn’t possibly stay home the whole of winter and not go to work although in the coldest of days, you just want to spend your time lazing about in bed. For these times that you must and have to go out, you can winterize your car to ensure that you’re on the road safe, you ensure that you’re keeping your car in a good condition and you keep yourself away from expensive repair costs.
Regardless of the type of vehicle you drive, you’ll have a few tips to use when you’re driving in cold winter days. You can find these tips and recommendations on your vehicles manual. Keep this manual in your car and if you have time, read thoroughly on it. Take note of things like fuel consumption, maintenance and how to keep your car in tune even in the coldest of temperature. The more you know about winter car maintenance, the better you and your family will be when you’re riding out in winter.
Here are some tips for ensuring your car is in perfect running order in winter:
- When you go out for routine maintenance, put a little extra effort for your battery and charging system in the winter season. Make sure they’re working efficiently. You see in the wintertime, the cranking power your battery gives out is greatly reduced. You’re going to have problems with starting your car if you don’t check on this in routine maintenance in winter. Make sure you bring a portable power pack or quality jumper cables in the trunk of your car when you’re driving in the cold.
- Other parts to check into are your heater and your defrosters. Make sure they’re in good operating condition. Also, check your wiper blades.If they’re brittle or worn, replace them. If they’re smeary, replace them. It will be hard for you to see if your wipers don’t work well.
- Winter driving will be easier for you if you check your filters, hoses and coolant. Filters for gas, air and oil have to be in good condition and your coolant level as well as your hermostat has to be fully functional so you can guarantee proper engine warmup. After every two years, your coolant has to be changed. Don’t forget your coolant tank pressure cap or your radiator cap. Hoses with leaks on it or feel soft need to be replaced.
- One of the important things to remember before driving out in winter is lubrication. Use something like a multiviscosity oil like Mobil 1 0W30 or the 5W30. This will help you with engine startup. When temperature goes below zero, you need to have lubrication like fully synthetic oils to protect your engine. A tip to note is that when you use low viscosity oil, you have more speed with startup and you also reduce wear and tear on your car engine parts when the oil flows quickly in startup.
- With regard to the condition of your tires, tread and pressure matter when you’re driving in cold weather. Check your tires for wear. Just like in normal temperatures, your tire air pressure has to be exact, anything over or under the recommended pressure is undesirable. You’ll be wearing your tire out more and using up more fuel if your tires are low in pressure. Overinflation and you reduce traction for your tires which can be very dangerous for you when you’re driving on icy roads. Tread matters so if you live in a place where there’s heavy snowfall, think about getting snow tires.
- Vehicle warmup is another way to ensure the upkeep of your car in winter. When you start your car, run it idly for a few seconds. This will ensure that lubrication has already gone through the engine and this provides you with protection. Again, it’s only for a few seconds. If you keep your car running idly for a long time, you’re will be wasting fuel and it will do nothing for your car. After a few idle moments, drive extra slowly.
- This next tip for winter car maintenance relates to number six. You have to drive slowly. Keep yourself within bounds of speed limits and if possible drive a notch or two slower than that. Drive a distance away from other cars. Pace yourself while your drive so you don’t need to make sudden stops. Remember, you’ll have mostly icy or wet road conditions to deal with and your car will have the tendency to slip before stopping entirely.
- If you live in a place where snow comes in spades, have a few tools with you when you drive like de-icers, window ice scrapers, and a small shovel. Keep these tools in your trunk. You’ll use the de-icers for your locks just in case and if you have to dig out of snow, you can do it with ease using your shovel. It’s also good for your car if you keep a bag of sand in the trunk. This will provide you with traction if you have a rear wheel drive vehicle. Sprinkle the sand on the snow or ice if you need traction. Pack a blanket along in your car. That’s just in case you get stuck in a snow storm.
- Drive in the snow fully equipped and this means, your rear window defroster has to be in good working order. Keep your window washer reservoir full. In your attempt to see clearly in inclement weather, these two thing will guarantee that. Don’t forget to check your fuel levels before you set out. You don’t want to get stranded in heavy snowfall.
- Lastly, clean your car out of ice and snow and we mean your whole car.