Winterize your car – Be prepared
As the leaves fall from the trees and the air becomes significantly cooler, winter is waiting just around the corner. When the temperature nears freezing, you begin to prepare for a few cold months. You probably replace your shorts with sweaters, seal your windows, and check your heat. But, do you do the same for your car?
Winterizing your car is an important step you can take to keep you and your family safe come cold and inclement weather. Here are a few things you can do to winterize your car:
1. Check it out
It’s always a good idea to go into winter with a freshly inspected car. You don’t have to go all out and get your through, yearly inspection. Just have your mechanic give your car the once-over when you take it for an oil change. Ask them to check parts susceptible to freezing and cold weather damage, like hoses and belts. Make sure you follow their suggestions and repair things that can make your car unsafe in winter weather
2. Top it off
When you take your car to the garage, your mechanic should be able to top-off any low fluids. But this is something you can easily do at home. When it’s cold out, fluid levels tend to drop. Keeping a bottle of anti-freeze on hand is a good idea. You want to make sure you never run out – or you could end up with an icy mess. Just remember to keep anti-freeze up and away from children and animals to avoid poisoning.
3. Run the heat
Check if your car’s heat is performing at its best by running it on high a few times – before it’s really cold out. Alternate fan speeds, adjust the temperature, and take note of how long it takes to get warm. Granted, your car will take some time to heat up on really cold mornings. Checking your heat before you absolutely need it can help you avoid freezing tips and an emergency repair bill later down the road.
4. Use the right tools
Freezing rain and melting snow can leave a layer of ice over your entire car. When you’re late for work, you might be tempted to attack your car with a cheap ice scraper. Be careful to use the right tools that won’t damage your paint and finishes. Plastic car parts like wipers and handles made by injection molding are more susceptible to breaking when they’re frozen. Give your car plenty of time to warm up and be patient to avoid lasting damaging.
5. Mind your tires
Your car’s tires are its first defense between you and icy roads. Tires with worn tread won’t be able to grip the surface of the road as well, making them more dangerous to drive with. If you’ve been considering new tires for some time, make the investment before winter. Getting from point A to point B safely is a worthy investment. There’s nothing worse than feeling unsafe on snowy roads – increase your comfort level with good tires.
6. Put on the breaks
Finally, making sure your breaks are in good shape is essential for winter driving safety. Brake lines are just as susceptible to freezing as other parts of your car. Making sure they’re in good shape and properly attached ensures they’ll work when you need them to the most. We all know you shouldn’t slam on the brakes when you’re sliding on ice. But, healthy brakes will allow you more control over driving in snowy conditions