Winter can be the harshest season of the year, especially for cars that aren’t properly prepared. Fortunately there are a number of steps you can take to ensure your vehicle runs all winter long. By performing some simple maintenance jobs, you can increase your car’s overall lifespan, efficiency, and performance all year long.
- Wiper Fluid – Add freeze-resistant wiper fluid to ensure you can keep your windshield as clean as possible.
- Coolant – If you plan on driving, you’ll need to consult your owner’s manual to determine the correct antifreeze-water mixture.
- Oil – Old cars should use a thinner oil during winter to avoid any issues. Newer cars should get some fresh oil as well, although it isn’t required.
- Inspect – Take a close look at your tires before winter strikes. Check the tread to ensure proper traction on the road.
- Inflate – Check your tire pressure to ensure each one is inflated to the manufacturer-suggested level. Add air if needed, especially since tire pressure drops during colder weather.
- Snow Tires – A viable option for drivers living in environments with heavy snow fall, switching to snow tires could benefit drivers who are seemingly always on the road. While they aren’t as efficient or maneuverable as summer or all-season tires, they’ll keep you safer on the snow-covered roads.
An old battery may not make it through winter. Colder weather reduces the battery capacity and increases the amount of current needed to start the car.
- Look – Examine the cables for any problems and make sure the connections are tight. Check the battery fluid (wear gloves) by uncovering the refill hole. Add distilled water if needed.
- Check – Find the manufacture date as well, if possible. It can be a good indicator of when you should need a new battery.
Be prepared for anything this coming season. Create an emergency kit that includes extra clothes, a flashlight, small shovel, sand, blanket, and any other necessary items. Add some glycerine for de-icing frozen locks.
In the end, it’s important to keep up on regular maintenance. Doing so reduces the amount of potential problems you could face during winter.