Investing a few hours of work into preparing your car for winter might be well worth it considering how time-consuming and costly it would be to fix it if something breaks down during bad weather. Not only is it more dangerous to drive your vehicle during winter without making the required preparations first but it can also take a toll on your car because of the rough weather conditions. If you’re going in for a check-up your mechanic can winterize your car for you while he runs the check-up but if you didn’t plan to take your car into the shop any time soon try to still ensure that you perform essential car maintenance on your vehicle before you take it out on the road this winter.
1. Check your battery
Every good mechanic will tell you that cold weather can be pretty rough on your battery and charging system so unless you want your car to die in the middle of nowhere try not to skip on checking these parts to make sure that they are running optimally.
It’s illegal to drive with broken lights but it can also be very dangerous, especially during winter when visibility is often less than good so make sure that all of the lights on your car are functioning properly and replace the light bulbs that are faulty or broken.
2. Change your oil and cooling agent
Give your cooling system a good cleaning and replace your antifreeze liquid. It’s recommended that you replace your cooling fluid every two years anyway because it can become acidic and fail to function properly if it is left unchanged for too long.
If you haven’t checked it in some time make sure you clean it out and replace it with a new one before winter sets in to better protect your vehicle. Changing your oil is as vital as putting fuel in your car since your vehicle won’t run properly if it doesn’t have the right kind of oil put in. If you’re living in an area where winters are rough and long it might be worth switching to winter oil to make sure your car runs smoothly in any weather.
Give your heaters and defrosters a quick check-up before winter to make sure that everything is in working order. There are few things that are worse that having your heating system break down in the middle of winter. Check to see if your defrosters work properly and that you won’t have any visibility problems when it comes to your windshield freezing due to the low temperatures.
Also give your wipers a tune-up since it’s recommended to change the wiper blades every six months anyway and you’re going to rely on them quite heavily during winter because of all the snow and ice on your windshield. Change out the regular washer fluid that you typically use for a cool weather fluid that won’t freeze when the temperatures are particularly low so that you never have visibility issues because you can’t properly clean the windscreen.
Consider keeping some specialty cleaning products in your trunk just in case your windshield freezes and your usual tactics don’t work. In a nutshell, take every possible step in preventing visibility problems during the winter months since conditions are usually at their worst at that time and many accidents happen because of that.
Using winter tires is a must in order to keep yourself safe in your vehicle during the colder months if you live in an area where snow and ice pile up heavily during winter but you should also check your tire pressure and tire depth before getting on the road. Specialists advise that tire pressure should be checked on a weekly basis during the winter months in order to be sure that they are functioning properly.
5. Check you brakes
Roads can become quite dangerous during winter because of black ice, heavy snow fall and poor visibility. Your brakes are the most important safety feature on your car so make sure you check your brake system before the weather takes a turn for the worse. Replace your brake fluid if you’re advised to do so and make sure everything is in top shape before getting on the road.