Cold weather can be rough on your car, and this means there’s a higher chance of a breakdown. Everyone has been there, you’re late for work and your car won’t start, or you stall on an icy road and are stuck waiting for a tow truck. Luckily, it doesn’t take much to avoid these kinds of disasters in winter, so follow these simple maintenance tips and you’ll be able to drive in the cold with confidence.
Get your battery checked
When you start your car in the winter, it needs a higher current to start, which means if your battery is reaching the end of its life, it may not survive the winter. You should regularly check your car battery, but this is especially important when the temperature is about to drop. Make sure you have jumper cables in your trunk in case of battery problems.
Change your tires
Snow tires, also known as winter tires, are essential in many states during the colder seasons. In recent years, many states have seen long periods of snow and ice, so it’s worth investing in a good set of tires to keep your vehicle as safe as possible. Winter tires are recommended in areas where temperatures regularly dip below the low 40s, and they’re a legal requirement in some areas.
Check your washer fluid
To prevent freezing, you’ll need washer fluid with antifreeze, and it’ll need to be topped up regularly so you can defrost your car in the mornings. It’s also a good time to replace your windshield wipers, as they need to be changed every few months when they start to disintegrate. You can find salvage yards at Tear-A-Part, which makes it easy to find items for unusual models of car.
Get your paintwork waxed
Your car is at risk of damage from snow, ice, salt and more during the winter months, so if you want to protect the paintwork, it’s worth getting it waxed. When you go to get your car detailed, upgrade to a decent car wax and you’ll avoid those small but ugly scratches.
Pack your trunk with some essentials
Ensure you always have a good deicer spray and ice scraper in your car. You may also want to carry a mini can of deicer in your bag, as it’s common for car locks or doors to freeze over. You should also read up on the best ways to deice your car’s windshield, as there are a number of different methods that make it easier.
You should also make sure you’re prepared in case of a breakdown. If you don’t already have a first aid kit in the trunk, this is a good opportunity to put one together. You should also make sure you have salt or kitty litter, a flashlight, a thick coat and gloves, blankets, tire chains and some water and snacks in case you are stranded for a while.
The winter months can make driving difficult, but your car is more important than ever for getting around. That’s why you should ensure it’s well maintained and equipped for the toughest weather conditions, so you don’t have to deal with an emergency situation.
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