Winter Is Coming, Make Sure Your Car Is Up For The Task
5 Tips To Winterize Your Car
Like it or not, winter is coming. If you want to stay safe on the road during the cold
season, it's important that you winterize your car. Winterizing a car isn't difficult but will reduce the chances of you getting stranded due to a mechanical failure and will also make your car easier to drive during poor weather conditions. These tips are simple, some of them free and don't take very long.
Check these things before hitting the road this winter.
If you live in an area that gets snow regularly, it's important that you have snow tires or all season tires that are snow-rated. Winterizing a car begins with where your car hits the road. It all comes down to tires. Don't be cheap when it comes to winter tires for your car, they're the only thing holding you to the road. Ensure that your tires have the correct winter rating and that the pressure is correct and equal in all 4 tires. Check your tread for depth and even wear. I recommend having a tire shop check these things for you as they will usually do it for free and it takes minutes.
2. Mechanical check-up
Check the basics under the hood. Ensure that your fluids are full including brake, clutch, antifreeze, oil and power steering. Top up any that are low and if necessary, have them changed. This is a good time to have your oil changed as well. Changing your oil at home is easy but you may choose to just take it to a shop and have them do it. Check your belts and hoses for wear as well.
3. Wiper blades
Simple, cheap, and often overlooked. Wiper blades are the only things that are keeping the road visible so it's important not to overlook them. Test them with washer fluid on the window and make sure that they wipe the whole windshield evenly and properly. If not, change them out for new ones. Wiper blades are really simple to change and even if you don't know how chances are you have a spouse, friend or neighbour who does. If not most shops will install them for free with purchase.
Have your battery checked by a shop or a friend with the correct tool to do it. Make sure that the water in your battery is full to the top and that it's fully charged. Check the hold down and make sure that your battery is secure. Check the terminals and make sure that the connections are not corroded at all. If they are, have the connections changed. Nothing sucks more than a dead battery when it's zero degrees celsius outside.
Keep a safety kit on board for emergencies. Here are some things to include.
- Food (granola bars work well)
- First aid kit
- Cell Phone
- Jumper cables
- Ice scraper
- Folding shovel
- Basic tool kit or multi-tool
Your safety kit is key, if you are involved in an accident or get stuck somewhere remote, it may be a while before you're found. You need to stay warm, hydrated and fed. Also keep a full tank of fuel so you don't run out and your fuel lines don't freeze.
Winterizing a car is simple but should not be overlooked. Using these tips will keep you safe on the road this winter. Make sure not to over look anything. It doesn't take much to get into trouble when driving in the winter and even though you may be able to do some of these checks yourself, I recommend an inspection by a certified mechanic that you trust.