By Neil White
The car is yet another thing we need to worry about in the winter. The season seems to make everything more difficult. Not only that it compromises the overall performance but it is also a risk of getting injured. Follow the tips below to lower the impact and reduce the chance of those two things happening.
Check the fluids
Most of the fluids your car uses, also have varieties which are more efficient at low temperatures. These are the products you should be using. This particularly refers to the wiper fluid which is essential when you are dealing with frost on your windshield. You need something which will help you clean the windshield in a matter of seconds and regain visibility. The second one, equally important, is the gas. Make sure your vehicle is always more than half-full to prevent condensation and make your car easier to start after a freezing night. Also, test the antifreeze which keeps the water from freezing in the cooling system of your car. If the results of what you found when it comes to the freezing point are not satisfactory, replace the antifreeze.
Inspect the windshield
If you are unaware of any damage on your windshield, inspect it and look for cracks. They may get worse due to cold weather and cause both great damage and hazard. Depending on the damage and an expert advice, replace it or repair it. Also, have a defogger ready in your glove compartment. Alternatively, you can use a DIY solution of spreading a layer of shaving cream on the inside of your windows and wiping it off. It will leave a protective layer on. Furthermore, you will probably need a defroster handy. The natural remedy is a mixture of three-quarters vinegar ad one-quarter water in a spray bottle.
Get the wipers ready
Replace the wiper blades you have at the moment with those specially designed for wiping through snow and ice. In order to keep them ice-free, you can protect them by dressing them in socks overnight which will keep them from freezing. Alternatively, you can use rubbing alcohol to defrost them and prevent them from sticking onto the glass of your windshield.
Inspect the battery
Check your car battery’s user manual to see how long the predicted battery-life is. If you are close to the “best-before date” it may be a good investment to replace the battery. The last thing you need is to get stuck somewhere in the freezing weather. Also, if your battery is showing signs of strain, such as having a hard time starting in the morning, you should probably have it checked out by a professional and, if need be, buy a new one. You should probably learn how to jump-start a car, just to be on the safe side. Do not forget to always have the required cables available. If you are driving a manual, you can jump-start a car by pushing it, provided you have a passenger which can assist you or you find an eager passer-by.
Get the new tires
If you do not have winter tires, the advice to you is to purchase them for all four of your wheels. Most countries make them mandatory for the winter months, anyway. If you have existing winter tires, check the tread, it should be more than 1.6mm. A good set of tires provides better grip and performs better in cold and wet weather. Even though the winter tires can be expensive if you can afford it, buy another set of wheels for those tires and change them as the season changes. You will have to see your tire fitter if you want to put the tires onto the existing wheels.
In order to preserve your car body throughout the winter, look for chipped paint and existing signs of corrosion. Repaint them to seal off the wound and prevent further damage. The cold, the water and the salt used to keep the roads ice-free can damage your car. This is exactly why you need to close all of the possible entry holes, that is, weak spots. Another helpful trick is adding a coat of wax for protection. Even though it could be less enjoyable in the winter, washing your car regularly will help you keep the salt off. You should wash the floor of your car by driving back and forth over sprinklers. However, choose warmer days and the warmest part of a day for this activity.
See a professional
Apart from everything you can do for the car yourself, you should also see a professional. Epping auto service mechanics recommend a routine check-up before winter as any minor issues can be made worse by the bad weather. Also, you will need a professional to assist you if you are uncertain of how to perform any of the checks or procedures listed above.
A full emergency pack
This winter’s emergency pack will take up half of your trunk. However, you will be quite happy you have it ready if for any reason your car stops or gets stuck. Apart from the regular emergency kit, you should also include a De-icer or scraper, Wellington boots, worm clothes, some candy bars to keep you energized, water, matches, lighters, and candles for both light and warmth. Also, it does not hurt to have a blanket in, as well as a sandbag or kitty litter to help you add traction by spreading it under the tires.
Do not let the cold winter be the worst thing that happened to you. Prepare your car so nothing can surprise you and there is no such thing as an emergency, but simply a situation that requires your attention. Hopefully, you will consider the tips and tricks and be ready for such occasions.