If you are a car owner, it is likely that you are not a big fan of freezing weather. For example, you might be afraid of driving on icy roads and getting stuck in a snowstorm in the middle of nowhere. In addition to that, winter does not go easy on your car. Consequently, you have to get your car ready for low temperatures weeks in advance.
Fortunately, this article should make winterizing your car a whole lot easier! Here, you will find a list of things that you can do to prepare your car for freezing weather, ranging from troubleshooting car problems, buying snow tires, and changing your oil and antifreeze to checking your tire thread and filling up your tires. Check it out!
Troubleshooting Your Car Before Freezing Weather Arrives
If you want to be able to drive smoothly through freezing weather, it is crucial that you get your car ready early. For example, you might want to check your tires first. If you are concerned that your tires might have an issue, park your car and put the parking brake on. Then, turn your steering wheel all the way to the left and try to move the tire slightly to see if it moves freely and does not make a clicking sound.
In addition to that, you should check your brakes. Therefore, park your car on a flat surface and make sure that there is no one driving behind you. Apply the parking brake and turn off your car. Next, release the brake pedal. If the car begins to roll, you will need to get new brake pads or shoes. Otherwise, open the hood and check for hydraulic fluid leaks in your brake lines. Call professionals if necessary.
Purchasing an OBD2 diagnostic tool is a good investment. These days you can use affordable software to run diagnostic tests and run performance reports. For instance, TOAD PRO doesn’t just run diagnostics but can save you hundreds of dollars by measuring fuel economy. Go here to find information about TOAD PRO.
Buying Snow Tires
Before freezing weather hits, you should also buy snow tires. It is crucial that you have good tires in icy conditions because they will improve the traction of your car and allow you to drive safely over slippery roads even when it is snowing heavily. In addition to that, snow tires are much more cost-efficient compared to snow chains.
Changing Your Oil and Antifreeze
Another thing that you should do before freezing weather hits is changing your antifreeze and oil. Changing your oil is important because cold temperatures will cause it to thicken up and reduce its flow rate, which can lead to engine damage.
Checking Your Tire Tread
If you are still concerned about getting stuck in freezing weather because of poor traction on your car’s tires, you might want to check their tread depth before freezing weather hits or buy some new ones if necessary. According to AAA (American Automobile Association), snow tires should have at least 10/32nds of an inch of tread left after you take them out of storage for winter. However, if your tires have less than 3/32nds of an inch remaining, it is time to replace them with new ones.
Filling Up Your Tires
If you already have snow tires, now it is time to fill them up with air! You should not forget this step because low tire pressure can increase road friction which can slow down your car and make it less stable and more difficult to steer in icy conditions. Therefore, make sure that your tires are filled up with air or inflate them if necessary before freezing weather hits!
Filling Up Your Gas Tank Before Freezing Weather Hits
Another thing that many people forget to do is fill up their gas tank before freezing weather hits! It is crucial that you fill up your gas tank a week before freezing weather arrives so that there will be sufficient time for the fuel in your tank to settle down before the temperature drops. In addition to that, filling up your gas tank is much cheaper if done in advance of freezing weather rather than filling up when it gets cold outside and gas station prices increase significantly!
Filling Up Your Windshield Washer Fluid Reservoir Before Freezing Weather Hits
It is crucial that you fill up your windshield washer reservoir before freezing weather arrives because it will be used more often during cold temperatures due to reduced visibility due to fogging caused by condensation forming on your windows.
Prepare Your Emergency Kit
You also want to be sure that your emergency kit is in place before freezing weather arrives. This is especially important if you are going to be away from home during the winter. For example, you might want to include blankets, flashlights, batteries, a crowbar, food, water, flares, a shovel, snow chains, flares, a first aid kit, and a good battery-operated radio in your emergency kit.
Your car’s maintenance is a year-round job, but winterizing is the most time-consuming. Even spring cleaning won’t take as much time as changing your tires, oil, and antifreeze.
However, preparing your car for freezing weather is not only important to make sure it starts on cold mornings but also important for the safety of you and your family. The last thing any driver wants is to be stuck in a snowstorm without a way out, or worse yet, get stranded with no one around to help. These tips should ensure you are prepared when the cold weather hits.