Winter is the most difficult time of year for many people who live in colder climates. The cold temperatures, icy roads, and snow make life more challenging than it needs to be.
It doesn’t help that your car isn’t always running when you need it to be! But there are some winter maintenance tips that can help keep your car running all winter long.
Check your tires
If you reside in a location where subzero temperatures and heavy snowfall are common, it’s critical to have good winter tires prior to actually going for a drive in the snow. Don’t think that the all-seasons will suffice.
All-season tires are made to endure minor snowfalls, but they’re only trustworthy in climates with warmer winters, as they lose effectiveness when temperatures drop below 7 degrees Celsius, making stopping more difficult, particularly on black ice.
Talk to an auto shop specialist at your local tire store if you need new winter tires. The sooner you do it the better to avoid rushing through your buying decision.
2. Top up your fluids
Driving in winter can be unexpected, but you can keep one step ahead of the game by making sure your fluids are fully loaded before embarking on any long journeys. Your windshield washer fluid should be one of the first things you check and make sure you have a spare container in the trunk in case something goes wrong.
Changing to a winter-specific washer fluid is another option. There are specific Winter windshield washer fluids that have been carefully developed to provide superior de-icing abilities and to perform at a lower temperature, which is important when driving through snow.
If you’re ready for an oil change, scheduling one before the cold weather arrives will help protect your engine from harm, rendering it a smart winter maintenance measure.
3. Have an emergency kit ready
A winter automobile checklist should include an emergency roadside kit, especially if you plan on going somewhere remote or with limited access to services. In case of emergency, a decent kit should have everything you’ll need to stay warm and safe as you wait for help.
Booster cables, road flares, a snow brush, a tool kit, an ice scraper, and, of course, warm blankets are all essential items.
4. Check the wipers
Whenever you’re driving in hazardous situations, nothing is more frustrating than not being able to see well. During winter maintenance, make sure your windshield wipers are in proper functioning order to help limit that risk. Winter-specific wipers may be a worthwhile investment considering where you reside and your type of car.
5. Check your battery
Another prevalent issue in regard to winter driving is the infamous dead battery, which gets worse as the temperature drops outdoors. This is the reason why, before the temperature drops past freezing, you should get your automobile battery examined and changed if necessary.
Nobody wants to wake up to a dead battery in the middle of the winter. Even if you believe you’re ready, winter may always throw a wrench in your plans. In case of an emergency, you should maintain booster cables and a portable jump starter in the trunk of your car for winter maintenance.
6. Get waxing
Whenever it comes to winter car maintenance, waxing your car may be the last thing that comes to mind. However, it is worth noting that wax with a ceramic or graphene coating creates a hydrophobic effect, making it more difficult for ice and snow to form on your car’s surface.
7. Check the brakes
The Winter season will have an impact on your brakes, and worn brakes are particularly risky in the winter since stopping power is limited. If the vehicle brake pads you have are worn out, you need to replace them before the winter arrives.
You may also get an idea of your brake health by carefully listening while driving, as worn brake pads lead your car to screech and growl whenever you brake. After a big snowfall, you might notice a small film of rust coating on your brakes if you leave your car outside.
This is totally normal and will dissipate after driving for a few minutes. Nevertheless, if the noise persists, it’s time to take your automobile in for a check-up.