Preparation for the Winter: Car Maintenance
Preparation for the Winter: Car Maintenance
Seasons are changing, and it is cause for concern in some parts of the country. Heat and humidity are replaced with freezing temperatures and snow, and that is not all that should change.
When it gets colder outside and the weather starts to vary, it might be a good idea to prepare your car for the impending conditions.
How exactly should this be done, though? When it comes to a car, it should be built to withstand all types of weather occurrences, and still function as if nothing is wrong.
It is important to note that, while all cars are built to last through any weather conditions, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make sure your car is in good condition to face them.
Let’s go over some winter car maintenance tips that should be done before the winter conditions start, and what should be maintained during the winter months.
Pre-Winter Car Maintenance
Before the winter weather gets to be too harsh to drive freely, it is important that you get a few things checked out in your car. Prepare for the conditions now so that you don’t have to do as much later.
As well as being up to date on your maintenance schedule, here are a winter car maintenance checklist for before the weather gets bad.
- Change Your Tires
- Protect Your Cars Exterior
- Take Care of Your Fluids
- Check Your Battery
- Testing Your Heat
A lot of these are basic car maintenance, but these are still important to keep in mind before the temperatures drop If these are off even the slightest, it could cause a bad experience to occur when you least expect it to.
Changing Your Tires
Make sure that your tires are made for winter driving. It is recommended that you switch your tires to a snow tire, or make sure that you have your snow chains available to you whenever you may need them.
This should be done before the temperature hits 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Be wary of the laws and regulations about winter tires in your area, as some places have them in effect.
This will ensure that you won’t be slipping and sliding on the snowy or icy surfaces while driving from point A to point B. Making sure these are checked now will prevent havoc later.
Protecting the Exterior of Your Car
It might be a good idea to put a preventative layer of wax on the surface of your car or opt-in for your car to be detailed. This will act as a preventative barrier between your exterior and the salt and snow that could damage your car.
It is also beneficial for you to give your car a nice wash with a high-pressure hose to make sure that your seal isn’t being eaten away at by the harsh “anti-snow” chemicals. It will also wash away all of the build-ups in the wheel wells and underbody.
Take Care of Your Car Fluids (flush and fill coolant, top off washer fluid)
Make sure that your fluids are good enough for you to brace the new weather conditions! This is especially true for your coolant!
Make sure to flush out your old coolant and refill with a new, unused coolant. This will make sure that your engine is being properly cooled off during the winter.
Don’t forget to top off your windshield washer fluid and your gas, as they are both important. The washer fluid is there to help you see clearly while driving. If your fluid is empty, then it will prevent you from seeing clearly when the debris from the road gets kicked up.
If your gas is full, it will prevent water from freezing on the inside of your fuel pump. This will also allow your engine to run for longer in the incident that you get stuck. Keeping warm is a must when you are stick in a cold situation.
Keep Tabs on Your Battery
If your battery has a little bit of trouble turning over during the warmer seasons, chances are it won’t even be able to once the colder temperatures arrive. Winter car battery maintenance involves testing your battery to make sure that it is able to run is a must.
If the test results come back that the battery is not good when it comes to running properly, it might be time to change your battery. This way you are not taking the chance of it not starting later.
Test Your Heat and Defrosters
This is important when driving, as it makes sure that the heat is able to be dispersed in your car in a safe way.
If your defrosters don’t work, the heat isn’t being pushed through to melt the ice on your windshield. If you can’t do this, you can’t see when you are driving, which is extremely hazardous and should be avoided at all costs.
If your heat doesn’t work and you get stuck, you run the risk of getting frostbite, or even hypothermia. Make sure your heat and defrosters work before the cold weather hits so you don’t get caught with your pants down later.
During Winter Maintenance
Just because the winter has started doesn’t mean that your car is good enough to stay on the road all season! There are a few things that need to be done during the colder months to ensure you are safe when driving.
These are also routine car maintenance things, but it is still important to keep in mind so that you and any passengers you may have are safe.
Heed these winter car maintenance safety tips and you should be just fine during the time of the year when the temperature drops.
- Check Tire Pressure
- Keeping Your Fuel Tank Half Full
- Windshield Wiper Protection
- Survival Kit
Check Your Tire Pressure Regularly
Your tires can lose air pressure very easily when it comes to cold temperatures. Keeping tabs on your tire pressure every 2 weeks or more will make sure that you are driving safely.
Filling your tire when you notice it below the average pressure for your car is important as well. The average tire pressure should be located on your owner’s manual. This will ensure not only that you have the most traction on snow and ice, but also that your fuel economy is at its peak.
Maintaining Over Half a Tank of Gas or More
As previously stated, topping off your gas is a must, but when should this be done? Make sure that your car always has at least half a tank of gas, and top it off as soon as you notice it getting to this point.
Protecting Your Windshield Wipers
If you hear of any kind of impending rough weather, it is probably in your best interest to raise your windshield wipers. Having a heavy amount of snow on your wipers will make their job of removing it ten times harder.
Raise your wiper blades and make sure to use an ice scraper instead of just using your wipers when snow piles up. This will ensure that your windshield wipers last longer on your car.
Keeping up With Your Winter Survival Kit
Keeping a survival kit in your car is a great idea! Keep yourself protected with all of the essentials you will need in the event that you break down during cold temperatures.
This will ensure that, even if all of your maintenance hasn’t protected your car from a breakdown, you are at least ready.
In the event of a breakdown, it is in your best interest to have a DriveSmart Warranty. Having one before you need one is important to stay protected.
With 24-hour roadside assistance, tow assistance, rental assistance, and even trip interruption, we want to make sure that you are safe when you need it most.
Get a quote today and see what you could be saving in order to keep you and your family safe this winter season.
Author: Brooke Lazar