Tips To Winterize Your Vehicle

By Alison wheatley
In November 30, 2015
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The colder months are here so it’s time to winterize your vehicle and make sure that it’s prepared for the conditions to come. While our modern-day cars are fairly equipped for winter, that doesn’t mean that we should completely ignore the key modifications that are needed to ensure a safe season of driving. Cold temperatures can cause a lot of damage to your vehicle on both the inside and out, so it’s important to be in the know about what you need to do. Here are a few tips to winterize your vehicle so you can be prepared for the arctic air and unpredictable conditions.

Engine

You should get your engine checked out on a fairly regular basis anyway, but it’s particularly important before winter arrives. Engine oil becomes thicker in cold weather, which makes it harder for the engine to function properly. You should also use winter oil, also known as ‘multi-viscosity oil’, which helps the flow of oil at low temperatures.

Brakes

Braking distance increases dramatically in wet or icy weather, so it’s important that your brakes are in top form before the winter weather hits. You should have your brakes checked every six months or so as they are a vital part of your car’s performance and, of course, safety.

Windshield

You don’t want to learn that your windshield wipers need replacing during a snowstorm. Check that they’re in good condition, and give your windshield a once over to spot any chips or cracks. The change from hot to cold weather can make your windshield glass susceptible to damage, so if you’ve got any minor chips that can be treated, make sure to do it sooner rather than later to avoid a hefty bill for a new windshield.

Battery

When temperatures drop, this can significantly reduce your battery’s cranking power. The battery has to work harder in colder conditions, so you should get it checked out before the cold snap arrives to make sure that it’s prepared to handle the winter weather and to avoid any battery failures on cold mornings.

Accessories

Make sure you’ve got the right accessories needed for winter driving. If you’re travelling to mountainous places, carry a shovel with you in case you need to dig out of the snow, as well as an ice scraper to get rid of any snow that may impact your visibility.

Tires

Depending on where you’re driving to, it may be a good idea to switch to winter tires. Summer or all-season tires can’t grip the road properly, particularly in icy or snowy conditions, which can potentially lead to bad accidents and serious damage to your vehicle. Winter tires are specifically designed to handle the road in winter weather, and although they typically have a shorter life span compared to regular tires, it’s well worth the investment to guarantee your safety on the road.

If you’re going to be travelling long distances during the winter, it’s a good idea to carry a few essentials in your vehicle. Consider what accessories are best required for your journey, and make sure to pack water, blankets, a flashlight, food, a first aid kit, and a fully charged cell phone, just in case your car breaks down on your way.

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