There are many factors that can be hazardous to driving during the winter months including ice and snow on the roadways. Of course, it’s important to prepare yourself for winter driving, however, it’s also vital that your car be prepared ahead of time for winter driving. Here are some suggestions for the upcoming winter driving seasons to ensure that your car is ready for the challenges of winter driving:
1. Service Your Car
Before the heavy winter months hit you’ll want to have your car serviced in order to prepare it for the upcoming winter months. Check the following to ensure that they are at their optimal operation levels before you embark on any winter driving:
Battery: Make sure that your battery is running at peak performance. If needed, purchase a new battery.
Cooling System: Ensure that your cooling system is running at a ratio of at least 50/50 or 70/30 for antifreeze to water. It’s recommended that you ask a technician which type of antifreeze you should be using for your specific region.
Brakes: Make sure that your brakes have a complete inspection. It’s difficult enough to stop on icy roads, make sure that your brakes are up to the task.
Belts: Check all hoses, spark plugs, cables, and wires to ensure that they’re up to date and fully ready to go. If any are bad or show signs of wear get those changed out.
2. Maintain Tire Pressure
For every 10 degrees change in the temperature outdoors, you will gain or lose 1 PSI. Check your tire pressure regularly during the winter months and add air as required. You can find the right pressure for your tires on the placard that is on the inside of your driver’s door jamb or in your owner’s manual.
3. Use Winter Wipers
Winter wiper blades are equipped with additional rubber that prevents ice from forming on the blades. Make sure that you change the wipers back after the winter months. Winter wipers are heavier and if you keep them on your car year-round it will increase the load that your windshield wiper motor has.
4. Keep Washer Fluid Filled
It’s important to keep your washer fluids filled. Just one snowstorm can use all of the fluid you have so refill your fluid frequently and don’t be caught without it. Make sure that you use a formula that is for the winter months. You may need to use a washer fluid antifreeze. Ask your auto parts dealer if you have any questions.
5. Keep Your Gas At Least Half Full
Keep your gas tank at least half full at all times. During the winter months, this is even more important than any other time of year. You want to help reduce condensation that can lead to gas line freeze ups. Also, if you’re ever caught stranded during a blizzard or other situation, you’ll appreciate being able to stay warm until help arrives.