7 Basic Tips for Preparing Vehicles for Winter
Although winter hasn’t yet officially arrived, in some areas of the country, winter weather has already begun and will continue into spring. Of all the seasons, it’s winter that can cause the most damage for cars. That’s why it’s extremely crucial to get vehicles prepared in advance before the harshest winter weather hits. Here are seven basic tips for preparing vehicles for winter conditions.
Once a month, check your tire pressure. Remember that tire pressure should be between 30 and 35 PSI (Pounds per Square Inch). The right tire pressure is particularly important in winter because tire pressure can quickly drop from exposure to colder air. Consider that for every 10-degree reduction in temperature, tires lose one PSI of air. When tires aren’t properly inflated, gas mileage can be affected as well as tire wear.
If you live in an area prone to extremely harsh weather, you’ll need a good set of snow tires that have more tread and are able to withstand extreme temperatures. Check tire tread by doing the “Lincoln test”. This is done by inserting a penny into the tread of a tire. Have the top of Lincoln’s head point upward toward the tire. If the entire head is visible, it’s time to replace the tire before harsh weather arrives.
Get Your Car's Battery Tested
One of the main preparations in getting a vehicle ready for winter is to have the battery tested because inclement weather can significantly decrease battery capacity. Furthermore, keeping your car parked in a garage, rather than in freezing weather, also helps in preserving the battery.
Be Sure Brake Lights and Headlights Are Working
Your brake lights and headlights should always be in good working order, but it’s especially critical that they’re functioning well when driving through heavy snow or dense winter fog. What’s more, you need to be sure other drivers on the road can see you.
Regularly Replace Worn Windshield Blades
If live is a harsh climate, you’ll need winter or rubber-clad blades for managing ice accumulation. You’ll all need plenty of windshield washer solvent for winter weather, in addition to an ice scraper.
Check Your Cooling System Regularly
Flush and refill your car’s cooling system, as recommended. Moreover, check the level as well as the concentration and condition of the coolant. The usual recommendation is a 50/50 mixture of water and antifreeze. Also, be sure the engine has been completely cooled before removing the radiator cap.
Add a Coat of Wax to Your Car
Before snow begins to fall, apply a fresh coat of wax to your vehicle as this helps in protecting it from damage caused by dirt and salt on roads. Although road salt is used for treating icy roads, it can do severe damage to cars because salt is corrosive.
Carry Glycerine for De-icing Frozen Door Locks
Sometimes freezing weather can cause door locks to freeze. Forcing a door lock to open by using a car key can result in breaking the key. That’s why it’s a good idea to carry glycerine, which is used for de-icing. You can usually find this product in auto parts stores, besides hardware stores and even discount stores.
Other Considerations and Warnings
Because winter conditions create more driving challenges, drivers can be more at risk for getting traffic citations than at other times of the year. At Traffic School Online we offer an online traffic school and defensive driving courses for dismissing traffic citations and reducing insurance costs. Please contact us and learn more about how we can help you.