10 Ways To Protect Your Car This Winter

January 4th, 2024 by

10 Ways To Protect Your Car This Winter

When winter rolls around, we all want our cars to be ready for the cold. Whether you’re driving all day or just running a few errands, there are some things you should do each fall to protect your car from the elements and keep it performing at its best throughout the winter:

 

Here are 10 tips to help you keep your car in good shape this winter:

1. Good Lighting Is Essential

Winters have shorter days, which makes visibility even more important. Make sure your headlights, taillights, and turn signals are all working properly and that none of your bulbs have burned out. You can also invest in some additional lighting such as fog lights or running lights, which can help keep you safe on snowy roads. Good lighting protects you and other drivers on the road.

2. Check Your Wipers

Worn-out wipers are less effective in cold weather because they freeze to the windshield. So, replace your wipers if they are old or look damaged. Also, make sure that you have an extra set of wiper blades in your car so you can always switch out when one set gets worn down.

3. Check Your Car Battery

A weak battery may survive warmer weather conditions. But, in cold weather, it drains faster and may die before winter ends. If you suspect yours isn’t sufficient to start your car in snowy or icy conditions, head to a nearby battery store and ask for advice. If they recommend that you replace your battery, do so before the cold weather sets in.

4. Inspect The Windshield For Cracks Or Chips

As the temperature drops, it increases the risk of small cracks and chips in your windshield. Water penetrates the cracks and then freezes. Over time, this expands the cracks and creates small “spider webs” that can spread fast. That’s why you should inspect your windshield before winter begins, so you can have any cracks or chips repaired in time.

5. Install Winter Tires

When winter comes, your existing tires might not have the tread depth to handle the snow and ice. That’s why you should buy a set of winter tires, which offer better traction on slippery surfaces than all-season tires. Install winter tires when the temperature drops below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. This could prevent a potentially dangerous situation in case of an emergency stop.

6. Warm Up The Engine

It’s a bad idea to simply jump in your car and start driving when it’s below freezing. The reason for this is that the oil in your engine will be thick and viscous, which means it won’t lubricate properly. So before you drive off, allow 10 minutes or so for the engine to warm up. This helps circulate the oil through the engine and prevent it from getting gummed up with condensation. When oil enters every nook and cranny of the engine, it prevents your car from seizing during a cold start.

7. Examine The Breaks

Before the winter hits, you should have your brakes inspected. If they’re showing signs of wear, now is the time to get them replaced. The last thing you want in winter is a car that suddenly breaks down or skids out of control. This can be dangerous not only for you but also for other road users. So make sure your brakes are in good condition before the first snowflake.

8. Pack A Winter Emergency Kit

It’s always a good idea to have an emergency kit for your car in the winter. You should include items such as extra blankets, food, clean water, jumper cables, a flashlight with fresh batteries, first aid supplies, and an ice scraper or snow brush. These things can come in handy if you get stuck in bad weather and need to wait for help to arrive.

9. Test The Defroster And Climate Control

In cold weather, your car’s defroster and climate control systems are put under extra strain. The defroster ensures that your windshield doesn’t fog up during cold and icy weather. Climate control keeps the air in the car warm enough to prevent you from getting cold while driving. You should ensure both of these systems are functioning properly before winter sets in. With this, you don’t have to worry about them breaking down when you need them most.

10. Empty And Fill Engine Oil/Coolant

You should make sure that your car’s engine oil and coolant are topped off before winter arrives. These help your engine run smoothly in cold weather so that you don’t spend your time stuck on the side of a road waiting for help. If there is not enough oil or coolant in your car, then it’ll break down eventually. Leave plenty of time to do this, so you don’t find yourself in a cold situation without the right fluid levels.

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