Wintery conditions can take their toll on any car. To prepare it for this year’s conditions, complete some important maintenance tasks to prepare it for this winter season.
Assuring your battery and antifreeze are up to par is of critical importance in cold weather; an undercharged battery could make starting your engine difficult.
1. Ice Scraper and Snow Brush
Maintaining a car free from frost, snow and ice is vital for safe winter driving. When using plastic ice scrapers on painted surfaces or when driving through snow-covered terrain it is imperative that the brush head be softened before scraping to avoid scratching of painted areas and to ensure the blade of the scraper blade does not become sharp or too icy during use.
As an additional measure, using a tool with both an ice scraper and a squeegee to remove snow from your windshield after scraping is highly recommended. Telescoping handles make for effective accessing hard-to-reach spots on the front of your car.
The Jalorama Ice Scraper with Glove is an efficient ice scraper designed to keep hands warm during use. This ingenious solution cleverly conceals its durable plastic blade in a waterproof fabric glove (like a mitten). Do not pour hot water onto windshields quickly when defrosting them as doing so may lead to cracks in glass surface due to sudden temperature change.
Snow and ice accumulation on your car’s roof and hood can obscure your view, so it is wise to keep a sturdy shovel handy in case this occurs. Make sure that before driving, all snow and ice accumulation has been removed so you can clearly see where you are heading without impacting another vehicle or getting into any potential trouble yourself.
Foldable shovels can also be extremely helpful; look for one with a metal blade that isn’t too sharp and make sure that its handle can tuck inside itself easily for storage. In cold conditions, handle metal shovels carefully as their heat loss could sap more rapidly from your hands than plastic or wooden counterparts; spray rock salt, sand or kitty litter in front or near tires to improve traction if stuck on an icy slope.
3. Gloves and Other Winter Clothing
Keep extra gloves, hats and socks in your car to provide warmth and comfort on colder days, and always have a first aid kit ready in case of accidents or injuries.
Hooper advises washing leather and wool gloves regularly; most may be put through a machine dryer. Agitation and heat can put strain on their small seams and membranes and cause them to shrink and stiffen over time, according to Hooper.
Soaking hand gloves in saddle soap can help disinfect them while rejuvenating them, she notes. But don’t wring them out as this will damage their natural oils that protect leather against water and odor, instead allow them to dry flat on a surface.
Your engine needs the right fuel to operate optimally and avoid damage, so investing a bit extra in finding one with cold-temperature additives may prove worthwhile.
Coolant (commonly referred to as antifreeze) is essential in winter car care because it helps prevent your engine from freezing up. Be sure to inspect your antifreeze levels regularly and for leaks or spillage.
At all times, but particularly during winter, it’s wise to keep your tank at least half full. A low gas tank could prevent your vehicle from starting or even cause it to stall if left uncovered for long. Plan ahead by filling up when convenient rather than scrambling to find new pumps when your gas runs low.
Car lights are essential in providing safe driving conditions, especially during harsh winter conditions. Therefore, it’s imperative that all your lights are functioning as expected in order to maintain safe driving.
Keep your vehicle’s headlights and taillights clean for optimal visibility, including performing a light inspection every time you wash your car. Doing this can help identify burned-out bulbs early and prevent further degradation over time.
Be sure to turn on your car’s headlights at dusk and dawn, as well as in rain. This will enable other drivers to see your car more clearly, helping prevent accidents. Also avoid crowding snow plows too closely; doing so could cause accidents and delays – for more read: 30 secrets your mechanic won’t reveal.