With winter approaching quickly, it’s time to start thinking about how you will keep your vehicle in optimal condition for harsh weather conditions. While a professional mechanic can perform an expert winter car check, there are a few simple steps you can take in order to increase safety while driving.
Change Your Tires
Winter brings with it harsh weather conditions, necessitating you to take extra precautions for winterizing your vehicle. Cold temperatures can wreak havoc on components such as engines, brakes, tires and more if left unchecked.
Tires are your vehicle’s first line of defense on snowy and icy roads. Under-inflated or worn tires can lose traction, increasing the risk of blowouts.
To prevent this, check your tire pressure regularly during the winter season. Each 10 degree drop in temperature can reduce air pressure by 1 PSI, so be sure to make sure all four tires are inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure for a safe and dependable drive.
It’s wise to have the necessary tools and emergency supplies in your trunk. A jack, spare tire, jumper cables, flares, windshield scraper, small folding shovel, blankets, nonperishable food items are all beneficial when faced with unexpected roadside crises.
Change Your Wipers
Wiper blades are an essential element in maintaining vehicle visibility. They filter rain, snow and ice from your field of vision so that you can see clearly.
Over time, wiper blades may deteriorate and lose their effectiveness. Furthermore, they’re susceptible to sun damage which damages their rubber parts.
A worn or damaged blade will leave a smudge or streak on your windshield, decreasing visibility. Replacing your wipers with new ones is the best way to help keep your line of sight clear in any weather condition.
Fortunately, most wipers feature a simple hook-mount system that makes replacement an effortless DIY project. Simply pull the tab that connects to the wiper arm, slide a new blade onto it, and push down to secure.
Check Your Battery
Your battery is an essential element of your car. Not only does it start and run your engine smoothly, but also keeps all the accessories such as heated seats and radio running in it.
Maintaining your battery is essential to keeping it in optimal condition. In fact, experts suggest having your load tested every year for optimal longevity.
When testing your battery, be sure to have an inexpensive multimeter on hand. Connect the red or positive voltmeter test lead to your battery’s positive terminal.
Once your voltmeter is connected, place your battery on a flat surface. Push the nodes on the flat side of your battery up and the protruding end down for testing.
You should be able to tell whether your battery is dead or not by watching its bounce. If the battery is empty, it will bounce higher than if it were brand new.
Change Your Oil
Altering your oil is one of the most essential steps you can take to winterize your vehicle and prepare it for harsh weather conditions. Doing so will guarantee that your engine remains in optimal condition, helping prevent major issues from developing later.
When changing your oil, be sure to use the correct type for your car. Refer to your owner’s manual for the weight and type of oil recommended for your model and year.
Additionally, using an oil with a lower viscosity during wintertime can be beneficial as it will flow more easily when temperatures drop.
When selecting oil for your engine, ensure you use a quality brand that meets or exceeds the manufacturer’s specifications. Using an inferior type of oil can cause irreparable harm to your engine.