Getting Your Car Ready for Cold Weather In The Right Way
Winter will be here before you know it, and you might even feel the cold temperatures on your skin, depending on where you live. Like every other aspect, your car must also be geared up for winter challenges. So, what can you do to have your vehicle operating safely and optimally? Read on to learn more!
Stock Your Car With Winter Supplies
This is perhaps the most elementary thing to do for ensuring a safe car journey during winter. It acts as a safeguard should an emergency arise while you are on the road. Remember to include road flares, a flashlight, blankets and first-aid kits. You can even bring an extra ice scraper and a bag of sand, salt or other abrasive material for traction. Tire chains, a tire gauge, windshield wipers and a small shovel must also be included. Consider stocking up these items well ahead in containers. Load the containers into your car during winter for easy access.
Have The Right Antifreeze Levels
Antifreeze is a substance that helps to keep your engine from freezing. Imagine having a frozen engine during an emergency. Scary, right? Aim for a 50-50 mix of water and coolant in the radiator. You can check for the accuracy of this mix using an inexpensive antifreeze tester at any auto parts store. Having the right ratio will prevent the mixture from freezing even at freezing temperatures. Drain, refill or flush your cooling system if you think the mixture is not in the right proportion.
Change The Oil
While this activity is something you must do regularly, it carries great importance during the winters. Remember that oil viscosity is not the same for every temperature. Typically, thinner oil is preferred for freezing temperatures. Nevertheless, you may want to check the owner’s manual for determining the right oil viscosity.
Check Your Car’s Battery
Ensure that your car’s battery is fully loaded for winter. Cold temperatures force your car’s engine to draw more current from the battery. Hence, it is always safe to charge your battery completely. But how do you test if your battery has enough charge? Simple. Just turn on your car’s headlights before turning on the engine. Bright light may be indicative of a dying battery.
You can consult an expert to have the cables and battery fluid checked. You must also ensure that the batteries run on the right voltage. Some batteries come with a built-in hydrometer for measuring the voltage, or you can use a voltmeter at home for this purpose.
Check the Tire Pressure And Tread Depth
The significance of good tires can never be underestimated. They are essential to making your journey safer during the harsh winters. So, what can you do to maintain your tires’ health? Use a simple gauge to measure the tire’s pressure. Most gauges come with manuals that recommend minimum tire pressures for different vehicles. Any inadequacy in pressure must be attended to immediately. Visit your nearest gas station and pump up the pressure to the recommended levels. Also, ensure that there is enough tread on your tires. Install winter tires if you live in an area prone to extreme winter conditions.
It always pays to get your car ready for winter. These precautions will ensure a safe journey and keep your vehicle optimized for winter. So go ahead and start your planning today!