There is something magical about stepping out into a wintery morning with crisp air and the landscape covered in a fresh layer of snow. If you are lucky, maybe the school will be closed. So, you and the kids can enjoy the fun of a snow day. But, there is also something dangerous about getting onto the roads in wintery conditions if you aren’t prepared. More road accidents happen during the winter months than at any other time of the year. The lack of traction caused by a buildup of ice and snow and a lack of visibility is often the cause of many incidents and can make the roads unsafe for you and your family.
Before you need to call the experts and learn more about what to do after a car accident, be proactive and get your car ready for the cold and slippery weather before you hit the roads. Don’t end up stranded with the kids in a roadside ditch — or unable to even get your car out of the driveway — by following these maintenance tips to get your car ready for winter.
Your battery is like the heart of your vehicle. Without enough power, your car will not even start. The extreme cold that can come with winter can be tough on your battery. Test your battery regularly leading up to the winter season and if you find that it is not holding an efficient charge you should consider replacing it.
Carry a portable battery charger with you in case you get stranded when you are away from home. When the temperatures really drop you can even keep your battery on a trickle charger to make sure that you never get stuck with no charge.
Traction is the most important thing to help keep you safely on the road during the winter. Ice and snow can be very difficult to manage on the roads and even more dangerous if your tires are not well maintained.
Before the snow starts to fly you should be changing your tires out from your summer wheels to either an all-season or winter tire. Check your tire tread regularly. Make sure that your tires aren’t worn down and ineffective. Tires that aren’t properly inflated can lessen your grip on the road, so make sure that they are full of air.
Keeping your oil levels topped up is only one part of winter car maintenance. The harsh conditions during the winter can be tough on regular oil running through your vehicle. You may want to consider switching over to a synthetic brand or a blend to help lubricate your engine even when the temperatures drop. Synthetic oils hold their viscosity better than traditional oils, providing you with faster startups that protect all of your engine’s moving parts.
Your engine can start to have issues if the water that builds up in your system freezes when the outdoor temperature drops below freezing. Even if you have a garage built to store your car during the winter, the cold can still affect your engine. Without the proper antifreeze formula, the water vapor can freeze and do damage to the delicate parts of your engine.
Keeping your car properly maintained can help you avoid breakdowns and accidents when the winter weather hits. Being proactive and following these winter care tips can help. It can make the difference between getting stuck in a snowbank or getting you and your family to your destination safely.