Cars are among the most expensive investments a person can ever make, apart from the house, life insurance, and digital gadgets. Most car owners invest so much time, money, and effort in keeping their vehicles in tip-top shape. After all, your car is a reflection of your lifestyle and personal taste. So passionate car owners look for car wrap ideas to enhance the aesthetic appeal of their ride.
But when it comes to changing seasons, it’s also essential to protect your car components against weather elements. Summer can take a toll on your car’s engine and paint, while winter can damage the tires and battery, which increases the likelihood of road accidents.
Winter is coming, and we know what it means for car owners: preparing the car for the coming winter. Engine freeze-up, accidents, frozen doors, and no-starts await your car if you don’t prepare it for the impending cold months. To help winter-proof your vehicle, here are ways to prepare your ride for winter.
Check the tire pressure
Good tires are a must if you’ll be driving all winter. As the temperature drops, so does the tire pressure. According to auto experts, tires lose their pressure at least one pound for every 10°F. If not managed well, low tire pressure can affect vehicle handling, so you have to keep the tires inflated properly.
For those who live in areas with severe winter, consider investing in snow tires since they’re designed specifically for icy roads and snowy surfaces. Winter tires carry the symbol of a mountain and snowflake, with a tread that isn’t less than 3.5 mm. Tires with the symbol M+S (Mud and Snow) are acceptable but don’t provide the same performance as winter tires in wintry climates.
Properly inflated tires provide the best traction when driving on wet, snowy, and icy roads. Once winter starts, check the tire pressure weekly. Remember, poor tire pressure also affects the fuel economy and speeds up tire wear. So if you want to save on gas and avoid road accidents, better inspect the tire pressure before winter comes.
Test the car battery
Don’t wait until your battery fails and leave you stranded along an icy road. During winter, a car’s battery suffers from cold temperatures; whenever you use the blower, heater, and lights more often, you’re subjecting the battery under further strain, which reduces the battery’s output.
Car batteries have a limited lifespan. They can last about five years, but old car batteries are more likely to fail once the temperature declines, so address this immediately by inspecting your battery using a load test.
You can perform the load test using a handheld multimeter or voltmeter to measure the charge and capacity. Also, make sure to test the car’s battery and check for corrosion on the terminal. For good measure, consult a tire professional for quality inspection.
Inspect the brakes
The next tip is something most car owners overlook during winter maintenance. During winter, brakes experience more strain than other seasons. It’s best to check the brake system at least two times during snowy weather.
Winter also brings in more precipitation, which damages the brake fluids over time. Brake fluids are more likely to get dirt in winter while getting minimal water molecules that are all harmful to the car. A great tip is to use a brake fluid formula perfect for cold weather.
When driving along with the snow, your car gets plenty of moisture and salt, which leads to rust spots on the rotors, reducing the brake system’s performance. Keep in mind that winter isn’t a single driving condition; you encounter various road conditions, such as dry, cold, wet, icy, slushy, packed snow, deep snow, and other varieties in between.
Replace wiper blades
Visibility is essential when driving during heavy snowfall. It’s hard to see the road when snow blocks the windshield, making your vehicle prone to road accidents.
It’s important to replace dried- or worn-out windshield wipers to ensure maximum visibility, especially if you’re traveling to areas where snowstorms often occur. Wiper blades are fairly cheap, so don’t overlook these essential accessories during winter since they degrade quickly when subjected to different elements.
Your car is a significant investment, so it makes sense to take good care of it. Making your car winter-proof can help you save a lot of time, money, and effort in the long run. More importantly, it also saves your life by preventing careless accidents along the road. So make sure to follow the suggestions above to welcome winter with better peace of mind.