As we all know, the winter season is coming soon. That means, it’s time to get your car ready for it! Just like you’d cover yourself up and change stuff around you, your car needs some preparation to make it through winter in the best possible conditions. Here are our top tips, packed up in an all-you-need-to-know article for this season.
Prepping for winter driving:
- Make sure your call is fully functional. By that, don’t only “test” it out yourself. Take your vehicle to a mechanic: get this check professionally done or you could face unwanted surprises. These should be checked out thoroughly: engine, battery, oil, antifreeze gauge, heater, brakes, defroster and thermostat.
Antifreeze is extremely important, as it prevents your engine from freezing out and being rendered dysfunctional. You can check its levels too by simply grabbing one at any auto supply store, and do it yourself helping yourself with the car’s manual.
- Concerning your tires: check tire pressure and tread depth. Replace them of course if the treads are starting to get worn. Having an adequate pressure tire as well as tires in optimal condition are certainly not mandatory while driving in the winter.
Check your tire pressure at any auto store for free, and most of the times refilling your tires with gas is fully free! It just takes a few seconds and it’s stupidly easy to do. Check your car manual once more to make sure you’re inflating them at the right pressure: most typical tires require from 32 to 35 PSI for your average vehicle.
- Perform a visual inspection every time you’re going to drive. Check the front and rear lights carefully with someone else’s assistance if you can. Change your windshield wiper fluid to one that’s capable of being sprayed in extreme cold so it doesn’t freeze out on your windshield. Purchase winter wiper blades if you want to be hundred percent sure to have a smooth ride.
Packing some utility for more safety:
- Keep the gas tank at least half full at all times (especially overnight). Without doing that, there’s a risk of condensation inside your engine, which could make starting tough on freezing mornings.
- Take a cell phone. You probably have one, as most of the people do in our modern world, but if you don’t, go purchase one as soon as you can: even a super-cheap one! It doesn’t hurt to be able to call 911 if an emergency occurs.
- Make yourself a winter supply kit, in it you should at least have: a flashlight, a charged cellphone, a bag of sand, an ice scraper, a first-aid kit, a blanket, a pair of gloves, a change of warm clothes and some food (something that’ll take a while to perish and that’s nourishing such as energy bars).
The bag of sand is for traction in the case where you’d get stuck in the snow. Taking two would be even more efficient since most vehicles are driven by 2 wheels.
Driving tips for the snowy roads:
- Before you even go, half an hour before, listen to the radio for any announcements concerning accidents, blockages or simply advice that could be provided.
- Plan your route beforehand to not end up having to find your way through a blizzard. It’s hard enough to drive and find your way at the same time, if you have to do that while a snowy day, you’re in for a rough ride.
- Let someone know of where you’re planning to go, if you end up somehow being out of reach, someone will be able to seek help for you.
- Drive more smoothly if you can: don’t slam the pedals, go easy on the brakes to avoid spinning, or abruptly accelerating. Look far, don’t look near! This is one of the basic mistakes that beginners make while driving, that everyone tends to do on snowy roads. It’s just snowy, it doesn’t mean you should change your whole driving habits; just anticipate turns, stops and intersections even more than you’d do normally.
- Ironically, don’t go too slow, since you still need some momentum to push your car forward through snow that could block you.
- Make your presence known! If it’s snowing, or foggy, always keep your lights on to make sure people in front and behind you can see you properly to adapt their driving speeds.
And that should be all you need to know to survive winter in your car! But most importantly, make sure to drive safely, and only when you’re feeling at your best.