A car that has been properly prepared for winter is safer and easier to handle than cars that have not received any attention. Drivers should plan for the worst weather conditions possible in an area. This should include planning for emergencies like being caught in a squall or winter storm. Drivers can do five things today to prepare a car for winter.
Take the Car In For an Inspection
The first step should be to take the car to a mechanic for a quick inspection. A mechanic can check the battery, the belts and the fuel lines for problems. Batteries drain faster in cold weather and might need to be replaced. Belts and lines could crack in cold weather. A simple inspection and some maintenance will prevent these problems.
Add Antifreeze or Replace Coolant
The coolant in the car can freeze when temperatures drop below freezing. The most common solution is to add antifreeze to the water. It is even possible to buy premade coolant that contains antifreeze. The proper mixture should be half antifreeze and half water. Adding antifreeze will prevent costly engine damage due to overheating or corrosion.
Install Winter Tires
Summer tires can become hard and brittle in freezing weather. If you live in a climate with snow, this could also mean slipping and sliding or even an accident. You can visit any local shop like SimpleTire to change out your old tires for snow tires. Winter tires stay flexible in cold temperatures and improve traction. This can increase safety and minimize wear on parts like the transmission.
Change Wiper Blades and Wiper Fluid
Standard wiper blades do not function well in winter. They can break or damage the motor. Installing winter wiper blades will allow drivers to more effectively remove snow and ice from the windshield. The wiper fluid should also be replaced with a winter formulation that will not freeze and clog the nozzles.
Update the Emergency Kit
Every car should have an emergency kit in the trunk. Drivers should add a few items to the kit for winter. A bag of cat litter or gravel is useful for getting out of an icy ditch. Blankets are useful if the family is stuck waiting for repairs. The kit should also contain a shovel and some extra gloves and snow boots in case you need to get out and push your car. This will help to protect drivers who encounter problems on the road.
Winter can be unpredictable especially when driving in higher altitudes. Cars that are experiencing small problems with braking or steering can become very dangerous on icy roads. Drivers should make sure the car is in very good working condition before winter starts. Following these tips can help you avoid being stranded on the side of the road this winter.
Author Bio: Kandace Heller wrote this article with help from Rhett Stone of simpletire.com. Kandace is a freelance writer from Orlando, Florida. She loves reading, writing and sharing new information.