Climate changes can greatly affect your vehicle, so you might want to check out some tips for getting your car ready for winter. If you don't live in a warm climate, you wouldn't dream of getting out of the house without a cozy coat to protect you from the chilly winter wind. Your vehicle needs special care when temperatures drop too (besides getting antifreeze solution), so don't expect it to function properly if you don't offer it some TLC. Here are 9 tips for getting your car ready for winter.
Table of contents:
- get the hoses and belts checked
- make sure you're using the right engine oil
- frozen out?
- never drive on empty
- check your tire pressure
- keep some salt in your car
- get a car wax
- update your emergency kit
- check your 4wd
1 Get the Hoses and Belts Checked
One of the most important tips for getting your car ready for winter is to have a mechanic inspect the belts and hoses around the engine. Freezing temperatures can weaken them, and if something breaks or snaps while you're driving, there won't be much to do besides calling a tow truck.
2 Make Sure You're Using the Right Engine Oil
The viscosity of the oil can influence your car's performance to a great extent. If the oil's too thick – and it gets thicker when temperatures drop below freezing – it will not be able to lubricate the engine properly. It will have a harder time flowing between parts and the engine will risk getting too hot.
3 Frozen out?
Has it ever happened to you to find your car's door locks frozen and you accidentally break the key in them when trying to open them? Pouring warm water can help you unfreeze the locks and avoid such situations, but what if there isn't any available nearby? Luckily, there's another trick you can use. You can find glycerin in basically any auto or hardware shop, and it's great for de-icing. Just be careful where you keep it, as it won't be of any help if you leave it in the glove box and your car's frozen shut.
4 Never Drive on Empty
Driving with your fuel tank nearly empty is never a good idea, but it's even worse in winter. The cold temperatures can lead to condensation forming on the tank's walls and, sooner or later, water will drip into the gas. If it finds its way to the fuel lines and freezes up, it will block the gas from reaching the engine.
5 Check Your Tire Pressure
If you get your fair share of snow and ice where you live, hopefully you already know how important it is to switch to snow tires. But another one of the tips for getting your car ready for winter is to check the air pressure in each tire too. Deflated tires have significantly reduced traction, increasing the risk of sliding on ice.
6 Keep Some Salt in Your Car
If your vehicle gets stuck on ice or snow, you can sprinkle some salt in front of the tires to help with the traction.
7 Get a Car Wax
This isn't an essential step, as it doesn't concern your safety or comfort. However, if you care about your vehicle's paint job, getting a car wax is a good idea, as it will protect the paint from possible damage caused by snow or salt.
8 Update Your Emergency Kit
Make sure you add at least an ice scraper, a pair of boots, a warm blanket, a small shovel, tire chains, and extra food and water, especially if you're planning a road trip.
9 Check Your 4WD
If you have a four-wheel drive system, you probably don't use it very often during the summer. If you haven't used it in a while, check it to see if it's working properly, as it can make a big difference on icy or snowy roads.
These were just a few important tips to get your car ready for winter, if you haven't already. Are there any other tricks you know that may come in handy?
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