Winter Driving – Is Your Car Ready?
January 20, 2014
We all know that the end of autumn, heralds the beginning of bad weather conditions for winter driving. If you live in a state where winter is harsh, long, and bitter, you know the feeling of getting your car ready in time for the first frost of the season. Winter driving is a tricky activity, so you want to make sure that your car is prepped to do battle with the elements.
As you know, extremely low temperatures can cause certain parts of your vehicle to wear more than the others; these are usually the metallic parts that get exposed to road salt and debris the most. Keep in mind that prevention is better than the cure, so it’s best to prep your car as early as possible to get a head start against potential damage.
Winter Driving – Specific Checklist
To help you out with your winter preparation and make your car suitable for winter driving, we have compiled a short checklist of the things you should pay attention to before the first snow comes. This is by no means an exclusive list. Feel free to add more as you see fit.
- Fluid level (degreaser, engine oil, brake fluid, antifreeze, fuel, water, windshield washer fluid, etc.)
- Snow tires (if applicable)
- Tires and wheels
- Paint job
- Spark plug wires
All these things and more will contribute to your car’s suitability for winter driving. Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to detailing your vehicle for the winter. You want to check as many different components as possible so you can have them repaired or replaced in time for the winter season.
Special areas of concern while winter driving
Now that you have finished inspecting the basic parts of your car and ensured that they are working well, which special areas should you look at for further examination?
Heaters, lights, and wipers all put a lot of strain on your car battery. If you can drive comfortably and see the road well without turning the heater up on high, then don’t. You might find yourself running out of juice when you least expect to.
This should be a no-brainer, but some drivers still forget to check their fluid levels religiously, especially during winter, to dire consequence. Check your car’s coolant system before fall ends. It might even be a good idea to flush it out completely and the system for leaks or cracks.
If you should ever find yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere, having functioning lights can be a lifesaver for both yourself and for other motorists. Accidents can still happen, but if you have thoroughly prepared your car for winter driving, you should be able to get through them just fine. Clean your headlights, taillights, hazard lights, and brake lights to remove scratches that make them look foggy or murky in the dark.
You need to be able to see clearly out of your windshield during a snow storm. Keeping your windshield and its wipers clean and free from streaks should be your top priority for the winter season.