October 26, 2021 at 11:10 AM

Icy roads, falling snow, and freezing temperatures can make driving in winter stressful. Between handling slippery conditions, navigating around cars, and cleaning the vehicle off, it is a time of year that most drivers would prefer to skip.

Fortunately, many of these winter car problems can be avoided if the proper care and precautions are taken before winter hits. Here are simple but significant winter car preparation tips.

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How To Prepare Your Car For Winter Driving

1. Switch to winter tires

If you live in an area covered in ice and snow all winter long, consider replacing your average tires with winter tires during the colder months. Winter tires are more flexible and softer than average ones. They also have a different tread shape that gives them greater traction on icy and snowy surfaces.

If you don’t have the space or budget to buy a set of snow tires, or you deal mostly with rain and wet roads, the best thing to do is to inspect your tires. If they are cracked, low on tread, discoloured, or flat, it is time to replace them. Test your tires with a coin to see if there is enough tread. Also, air up your tires to the recommended PSI (pressure) since tire pressure can quickly drop from exposure to colder air.

2. Change your wipers if they are worn-out

Visibility out your front windshield is essential to driving safely, especially during the colder months. So, it is crucial to make sure your windshield wipers are in great working condition.

Examine your wipers and replace them if you see signs of damage or wear, like rubber problems, bent frames, and chattering sounds.

You may also consider getting new wipers specifically designed for winter – they have a durable cover that helps prevent snow and slush from freezing joints. Additionally, switch your wiper fluid to a winter version, which de-ices your windshield.

3. Have your car serviced and checked for winter conditions

When winter is getting close, it is best to take your vehicle to a mechanic for a full check-up. Below are some of the necessary repairs your car needs to help prevent a snowy road breakdown.

Battery: In cold weather, the power of a car battery is significantly reduced. This means that it takes more power to start your vehicle in winter. So before winter hit, ensure your battery can withstand the cold.

Cooling system: It is highly essential that your engine contains the correct ratio of antifreeze to water before winter hit. Antifreeze fights corrosion and protects your engine.

Brakes: When driving in ice, freezing rain, sleet or snow, it’s paramount that your car brakes are up for the challenge of winter driving.

Cables, wires, spark plugs, hoses, and belts: All these can go bad at any time of the year. However, if they do during the colder months, you could be stranded in an extremely cold place for a long time.

Simply put, take your car to your mechanic to ensure that everything is in tip-top shape for the winter weather, from your engine oil and lights to your defrosting and heating systems.

4. Store emergency winter supplies in your vehicle

It is always a great idea to store common supplies and tools in your vehicle in case of emergency, but it is especially vital during the winter. Pack supplies to dig your vehicle like a kitty litter, ice scraper, snow brush, and small shovel.

You can also pack things like gloves, hats, extra clothes, blankets, a bottle of water, non-perishable snacks, jumper cables, some flares, and a flashlight.

5. Treat and clean doors

Sometimes your car doors can get stuck during winter. Fix this issue by cleaning the doors thoroughly and then applying a layer of oil to your car’s doors. The technique usually works well on the car’s hood and trunk.

6. Wax your car

Before the snow starts to fall, consider applying a coat of way to your car. Waxing it will help in protecting it from damage caused by salt and dirt on roads. Even though road salt usually is used to treat icy roads, it can damage your car since salt is corrosive.

 


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Category: Tips