Winterproofing Your Car
Winter calls for a set of preparations to minimise the effects of cold weather and snow. As you guessed it, it's the same with cars, which are not living creatures, but sometimes need to be treated as such. To keep your vehicle in good running condition, and to keep you and your family safe and with a dependable ride regardless of weather conditions, you need to prepare it for winter as well. There are a few essential steps in making a car winterproof, and we're here to help you with one short list.
Cold temperatures can cause all sorts of issues, and the worst thing that could happen to your car is for it to suffer a cracked engine block. That's why your cooling liquids need to be upgraded to withstand harsh colds. Consult your mechanic to see which antifreeze works the best for your car, and know that you've made a significant step towards making your vehicle ready for the winter.
First things first, if you plan on keeping your car on the road during winter, you have to invest in a set of winter tyres. These tyres are made of optimal tyre compound for cold weather with tyre tread patterns optimised for providing traction in all sorts of slippery conditions. If you already own a set of winter tyres, check their tread depth to see if you'd still be able to use them during snowy weather. Cold weather also depressurises the tyres, so keep your tyre pressure in check for safe and carefree journeys.
Vehicle Safety Check
If you haven't serviced your car recently, there's a slight chance that something may be wrong with it. Having a safe car on the road is of paramount importance because it does not only affect you but also other drivers on the road. Having a car not fit for right weather conditions can be hazardous and even lethal. Therefore it is essential to know that your vehicle is ready to tackle any sudden weather changes. For only €45 you can get your car assessed, and any potential issues brought to your attention. If you wish to make an appointment and have your vehicle inspected, click HERE.
Adequate Motor Oil
Cold temperatures thicken motor oil, which can have adverse effects on the engine. So, if you live in an area where the winters are long and cold, your car would greatly appreciate winter-friendly motor oil. Thinner oil will preserve your car's engine during the winter period, so switch to you manufacturer-preferred oil. Usually, it will be oil with 0W, 5W or 10W indexes. In addition to changing motor oil, make sure to change the oil filter too.
Car Battery Mustn't Suffer
Winter colds greatly affect car batteries which lose their power when exposed to freezing temperatures. So, if you keep your car outside during winter, make sure to start it from time to time and keep it running on idle. If you, however, drive it on a regular basis, you'll have no issues with the battery as long as it is not near its end. With that in mind, it's best to check the condition of your car's battery with your local mechanic.
Have a Winter Survival Kit
A winter survival kit can consist of many things, but here are a few pieces of equipment you got to have in your car. A shovel will save you in case your vehicle gets stuck in the snow. Next, a jumpstarter could revive your battery for long enough to provide you with a safe return home. Next, always have an ice scraper, extra antifreeze, a basic toolkit, and a flashlight. If you get stuck in a blizzard, a match and a candle, water and food, extra clothes and a blanket will help you keep warm until some help comes. A hat, thick socks, and gloves will be more than enough, but an extra puffer jacket or a puffer vest wouldn't hurt either. Finally, you should buy a lock de-icer, a small but vital piece of equipment during winter.
Keep the Tank Filled
There are at least two reasons for this one. First, keeping the tank at least half full is a good way to keep the fuel lines from freezing. More importantly, a running engine will keep you warm if you get stuck in a blizzard. Bear that in mind especially if your daily commute consists of driving longer distances outside of town limits.
Clean Your Car Often
It's of vital importance that you thoroughly clean your car after every snowy or muddy drive. If neglected, debris from snow, road salt and mud can cause corrosion on the undercarriage of your vehicle. So, always clean the inside of your wheel arches, and your car will thank you for that. You'll have no rust issues that could be costly to sort out later on, and original vehicles without body repair also have higher resale value.
There are things to do to prolong the lifespan of your car even when it's not driven. If you own a garage, it would be best if it has constant airflow. That will keep the air dry, which will preserve your car's bodywork. If a car is static during the whole winter, having jack stands will preserve both tyres and suspension of your vehicle.
Last but not least, there's one more important piece of advice. Never wait for the last moment to visit the mechanics and tyre specialists. By preparing your car a bit earlier than anyone else, you'll avoid waiting in lines, and you'll pay less since workshops charge more for their services during the rush period. Being properly equipped for winter is essential for not just yours, but the safety of other people on the roads, so make sure you've prepared your car well before the first snow starts to fall.
If you wish to get your car checked out by our expert technicians, please click HERE and fill in the form.