Winter months call for special attention to your vehicle as the temperatures drop and mobility reduces. Here are some tips to help keep your car in top-notch condition.
What’s the first thing you do when the mercury levels start dipping and you feel a slight chill in the air? If you’re like us, perhaps you’ll reach out for a warm blanket, or a pair of your favorite fuzzy socks or slippers. Or perhaps you’ll go straight for adjusting the thermostat in your home or office, from cool to heat.
As the seasons change, the dipping temperature levels accompanied by snow and precipitation can take a toll on your car. That’s why the onset of winter poses a diverse array of challenges for car owners and drivers.
In this blog, we’ve outlined a few effective tips to help you keep your car healthy and running throughout the winter season. Let’s take a look.
1. Stop Procrastinating
First things first — don’t wait to start maintaining your car. If you want your vehicle to run smoothly throughout the year, especially during those colder winter months, it’s important that you take a few preventive measures beforehand. As a ground-rule, remember to routinely schedule your car for maintenance.
This will help you identify any potential problems that could escalate with dipping mercury levels. Also, it’s a good idea to buy a durable and water-proof car cover that’ll protect your vehicle from wind, rain, and snow.
2. Get Rid of Foliage
If you remember to get a sturdy body cover for your car, this shouldn’t be a problem. Organic matter, such as dried leaves and twigs, will accumulate on the cover and can be easily removed.
However, if your car doesn’t have a protective cover, debris and foliage could build up in various sections, especially as the seasons change and the weather gets colder. For instance, leaves could accumulate in the air plenum near the windshield. Likewise, they could be collected on the edges of a sunroof. This, in turn, can cause leaks and corrosions when you’d least expect it.
That’s why it is essential to regularly check your car’s exterior and remove any accumulated organic matter. Also, depending on how often you actually drive the car, you might end up with more complicated problems. One issue that could arise – birds building nests under the hood or trunk of your car. In such cases, it’s best to seek professional help from a mechanic and/ or a wildlife animal expert.
3. Prep the Lights
The winter months are accompanied by a significant reduction in daylight. You wouldn’t want your headlamps or taillights to falter while you’re driving in the dark, would you? That’s why it’s important to check your car’s lights and ensure that they’re in proper working condition.
Be sure to get any damaged bulbs repaired immediately prior to operating your vehicle – especially at night. It’s also a good idea to clean all the lights and rub car wax on their lenses. Once the wax dries, scrape it off and repeat the process. This can go a long way to prevent the formation of an ice/snow cover on the lights.
4. Check the Battery
Your car won’t run on a weak battery during winter. Period. The last thing you want is to end up with a dead battery in the middle of a deserted road on a cold winter’s night. The best way to try and avoid this is to get your car battery checked in advance. It’s particularly essential if you’re planning to go on an extended drive or road trip.
The good news is that most automotive stores and repair shops will load-test your battery at minimal cost. If there is indeed a problem with the battery or its charging system, you should get it replaced immediately.
5. Consider Snow Tires
If the place you’re living in receives plenty of snowfall, investing in a few pairs of snow tires is an excellent choice. These tires are designed with special tread patterns to provide more traction and grip on snow-covered roads. Also, they’re manufactured using softer rubber, which keeps them flexible even at a lower temperature.
Regardless of whether you’re getting new snow tires installed, be sure to get your tires checked at a local car repair shop. Make sure the tires are properly inflated and the air pressure is up to the manufacturer’s specifications.
6. Stock Up On Fluids
Just like the human body, a car relies on a wide range of fluids for seamless functions. These include:
- Fuel or gasoline
- Engine coolant or antifreeze
- Washer fluid
An important step of preparing your car for the harsh winter months is to replenish all the fluid levels. To begin with, make sure the gas tank is full so that your car keeps running. It can even come in handy to keep you warm if you get stuck due to bad weather. Also, a filled gas tank prevents water from collecting and freezing in the fuel pump.
Likewise, it’s essential to check the coolant and make sure your car isn’t running out of it. Get the engine inspected to rule out any faults and leaks that could cause the coolant to ooze out. It can go a long way to prevent the engine from freezing in extremely low temperatures.
Lastly, don’t forget to fill up on the washer fluid. This is because you’ll likely be using the wipers more often than usual to remove snow and debris from the windshield. Check the freezing points of the coolant and washer fluid you’re using and make sure they’re well below the lowest temperature your car will experience.
Head to your nearest ALON/DK-EASY store or pump to get these stocked up for your car.
Owning a car is a huge responsibility. If you want your vehicle to last longer and function properly, you must take the right steps to maintain it. This is especially important during winter because the drop in temperature along with rain, ice, snow, etc. can extensively damage your car.
From getting a car cover to filling the gas tank – there’s a lot you can do to protect your car. You should also get the battery tested and invest in a few pairs of high-quality snow tires. Lastly, don’t forget to regularly clean your car to prevent debris and organic matter from accumulating on it.