The last year may be over, but winter is definitely still in full swing. There are, of course, lots of good and bad things about that but one thing is certainly true: winter is not the perfect season for any car. In fact, a lot of cars really do not cope well with the cold weather. Whether it’s trouble starting, the engine freezing up or skidding on the icy roads, there are some days where it feels like you’d just rather not bother getting out onto the roads at all. Sadly that’s not really an option for a lot of people. Most of us have to drive in order to get to work, pick up the kids from school, as well as seeing family and friends. That being the case, the best that you can do is to make sure that your car is as well protected from the elements as possible. Here are a few pieces of advice to help you do just that.
Take care of your battery
Without a functioning battery, you might as well have an extremely expensive, two-tonne paperweight sitting in the middle of your driveway. The mixture inside your battery is a mix of acid and water, and here’s a fun fact about water, it has a tendency to freeze in cold weather. When this happens your battery will freeze solid and be as good as useless. Fortunately, there are ways that you can avoid this. In the cold weather, try to avoid leaving your car for more than a day without running the engine, that way you can keep the battery warm and prevent it from freezing. Even if you’re not going anywhere, it can be as simple as turning on the engine, letting it run for a few minutes before turning it off again.
Ask yourself this question: would you walk around in the snow in sandals? If you’re a reasonable, sane person the answer is obviously no, of course not. Well, your tires are the equivalent of your car’s shoes and really don’t want to take it out onto icy roads without the proper shoes, erm… tires. Make sure that you have tires with extra deep treads on them so that they can grip the road more effectively. You may also want to invest in tire chains for really thick snow. It might seem like this could be costly but it’s definitely cheaper than the money you’ll spend at an auto repair shop after you skid straight into a tree.
Watch your wipers
The blade on your wipers is specially designed to be soft and malleable, but in the cold, that rubber can freeze and harden. That mean that when they are being scraped across the windscreen, they’re much more likely to crack. Now, this may not seem like a particularly terrifying scenario, but when you’re driving through thick falling snow or heavy rain, the very last thing you want is windshield wipers that aren’t working properly. Make sure you’re checking your wipers regularly to ensure they’re not damaged.