Old Man Winter has already made his triumphant return to several parts of the United States. As households are digging their cars out of the snow, other motorists are gliding all over the roads and heading into ditches. This obviously means that they did not winterize their vehicle ahead of the unofficial start of the season.
Blowing snow, freezing temperatures and icy roads are definitely not the greatest of conditions for driving from point A to point B. The best steps to avoid getting into an accident this season and getting auto repairs is to drive slow, take your time, prepare your trip in advance and to be considerate of other drivers.
If you haven’t done it already, be sure to acquire an emergency kit to have in your car at all times. This can include a blanket, a flashlight, tool kit, first-aid kit, a small shovel, jumper cables and more.
With that being said, it’s also important to take these following steps to winterize your sedan, minivan, truck or sports car and be prepared for all sorts of conditions that winter throws at drivers every single year.
Indeed, having your car battery die is terrible at anytime. However, it’s the worst possible time in the middle of a snowstorm or when temperatures are below zero. Cold temperatures can weaken the battery so inspecting its posts and connections is crucial to the winterization process of your vehicle.
Usually, if the battery is more than three years old then it would be prudent to get it examined by your auto mechanic.
Many automobile experts agree that summer and all-season tires are insufficient to meet the demands of the road during winter. Therefore, it’s best to install winter (or snow) tires, which are great to tackle the snow and ice and maintain superb traction. Also, check your tire pressure because your tires need to be properly inflated for the best traction possible.
Another suggestion is to pour some salt or sand in the path of your wheels before you drive off to garner some grip.
Now would be the best time to replace your windshield wipers, especially if they’re chipped and cracked. A fluctuation in temperatures can turn a small crack into a viewpoint hazard. Also, be sure to inspect your fluid levels to avoid any problems ahead of the fluctuations in temperatures.
Even if you’re driving slowly, it’s still very important to ensure that your brake checks are working properly. Anything can happen on the road so it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you haven’t had them checked yet, now would be great to go to your mechanic and receive their opinion.
It is agreed upon that fluids in your vehicle are just as important to the lifespan of your car as the battery. When temperatures begin to drop, the fluids, such as oil, can thicken and then lead to troubles lubricating the engine. In regards to the gas tank, never allow the gas gauge drop below the half-full threshold because then there is a possibility that your gas lines will freeze.
By completing these steps, you can avoid a car accident or a mishap and hefty repair bills.