It’s mighty essential for you to prepare your car for winter driving because the bitterly cold weather may put an unusual and unreasonable demand on its functional parts and equipment. Failure to do so may result in a life-threatening situation for you and your passengers.
So why even take the risk? The following tips can help.
1. Check the anti-freeze
If your coolant system’s not in the right proportion, it will lead to overheating as a result of freezing.
It’s, therefore, advisable to flush out the entire coolant system of your vehicle before the first freeze. You should also check the cooling system for leaks and install fresh coolant if required.
2. Check on your windshield wipers
Inspect the wipers of your windshield and replace them if you think they have become worn or hardened over time.
You should also change the wiper fluid of your windshield with the one having antifreeze in it for the bitterly cold winter season.
3. Check your heater system
Confirm that your vehicle’s heater system is in order and the core’s not leaking in any possible manner.
Also, check the blower and the window defroster. If you come across any issue, fix them as soon as possible.
4. Inspect your vehicle’s electrical system
By “electrical system,” I mean particularly the car’s battery and the charging system. The cold weather may put unusual stress on your vehicle’s electrical system resulting in failed starts, sluggish engine, dimmed lights, and a weird smell.
So keep an eye out. In case you detect even one of the above symptoms, service your vehicle immediately.
5. Practice regular maintenance of fluids
Use a lower viscous oil (like a 10-weight) for your vehicle when the temperature of your surroundings goes way below zero.
The same thing is also applicable to your automatic transmission fluid. Transmission fluids and higher weight oils don’t work well in colder weather. Mufti-viscous oil (like a mixture of 10 and 30 weights) is the only thing that can help you out in such situations.
6. Check your traction
Ensure that you’ve got enough traction to drive on icy roads.
Check your car’s tyre treads. Replace them if you think they aren’t sufficient enough. Snow tyres may also be an excellent investment.
Additional Winter Driving Tips
- Avoid driving in extreme weather conditions such as a blizzard, or extreme high winds.
- Always have an emergency kit in your trunk while driving. The kit should have the following items at the very least:
b) Batteries and flashlight,
c) Candles, lighter, and a matchstick,
d) Battery-operated radio,
e) A shovel,
f) One sleeping bag at the very least,
g) Dry foodstuffs,
h) A small first aid kit,
i) A toolkit, and
j) A spare tyre.
- If visibility is close to zero, stop on the spot or the side of the road (if possible). Do not try to be a hero. Trust me; it isn’t worth it.
- And finally, always maintain a 10-second distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you. This will give you enough room to manoeuvre your vehicle in case the situation calls for the same.