Winter is coming and the troubles that come with it. Having to layer up to go outside, heating your house and so much more. In all this hassle let’s not forget our trusty cars. Winter can be particularly hard for the car as the lowered temperatures mean lesser lubrication, cold fuel, and a whole host of problems. Most modern cars can operate at any temperature but to extend the lifespan of the car we can take a few steps to minimize any damages if any. Here are 7 winter car care and maintenance tips for this winter.
Car Care and Maintenance Tips
1. Car Battery
After a few years of use car batteries become weaker, while a weak car battery can do its’ job during the summer months, it may struggle to start your car during the winter. The last thing you want is to be stuck in the cold because your car isn’t starting so best to make sure your battery is in good condition and strong enough to withstand the winter.
2. Empty & Refill Engine Oil
Many people simply top up the engine oil and this will not help solve anything. As the engine runs the engine oil is the lubricant but it gets dirty and accumulates this dirt over time. You need to drain the engine oil regularly to ensure the engine works at its best. Engine oil tends to get thick during cold weather and this might cause problems in the engine, fresh engine oil can help avoid that. It is an important step in getting your car ready for winter. Make sure to not miss the oil change this weekend if you want your car to last you a lifetime.
3. Tire Pressure
As the air in your tires cools it shrinks and thus the air pressure inside the tire can decrease. Driving with low tire pressure can be particularly dangerous and can cause punctures. Make sure to frequently check your tire pressure levels this winter and fill it up with air if you see that see tire pressure is low. Make sure to do all 4 separately as different tires can have different pressures, needing individual attention.
4. Warm Up Your Engine
This is rule number one of “how to drive a car safely during winter”. Engine oil is thicker as it is cold and it needs time to circulate throughout the engine and lubricate it well, so when you start your engine let it sit for 3–5 minutes with no load acting on it. After this waiting period, give your engine a few revs before moving your car. This tip can help save your engine a lot of wear and tear.
5. Check Headlights
The sun rises later than usual and sets earlier than usual so you are more dependent on your headlights during the winter. So well before the winter season starts take 10 minutes to look at all the lights in the car and see if they are functioning at their best. Make sure double check brake lights as during fog it can come in handy to avoid getting rear-ended.
6. Be Prepared
It is always better to be over-prepared than under, especially when it comes to long drives in the winter. Apart from all the car maintenance make sure to keep an extra set of warm clothes in your car. Ensure you have any medications you might need. Always check the weather forecast before starting a long drive. Keep some jumper cables in your car, they can come in handy to kickstart your car if your battery dies. Being prepared will help you feel confident out on the open road.
7. Inspect The Windshield For Cracks
The front large piece of glass is literally a shield that protects us from the harshness of the elements. Make sure the windshield doesn’t have any cracks from which water can seep into the cabin. Cracks and chips can also be a problem when it comes to visibility during rain and fog so make sure to get any large chips patched in or invest in a windshield replacement. Defoggers can be taken for granted nowadays but make sure not to depend too much on them as it adds strain onto the engine. Instead, open ventilation in the car can help keep the inside air as cool as the outside air thus avoiding fogging.
Driving in the winter has two parts, preparation, and driving. Preparation is what we have covered extensively like warming your engine, checking engine oil, checking your brakes, etc. When it comes to driving it is important to drive very cautiously as the roads can be slick and visibility is often quite low. Make sure to use all the fancy tools your car has at its’ disposal to make sure you are driving as safely as possible. Make sure to always air on the side of caution and be patient even in traffic.
This covers all winter car care and maintenance tips. No matter how harsh of a winter you are facing, the world doesn’t stop moving and neither can you in this modern world but thanks to our trusty car traveling have become a comfortable experience. This winter let us make sure that our cars are having a comfortable experience too.