Plan ahead and be prepared. Taking a few precautions to prepare your car for winter weather will allow you to brave the cold and snow a whole lot safer.
1. Get A Pre-Season Inspection
Take your vehicle in for pre-season inspection. The mechanic should check all systems, including the battery, antifreeze level, thermostat, heater, brakes and defroster.
2. Check Your Tires
Check for proper inflation and make sure your tires have adequate tread. If the treads are worn, replace your tires. If it snows in your area, think about switching out your tires for a set of snow tires. Snow treads have better traction on ice and snow and are better equipped to handle extreme winter conditions.
3. Winterize Your Windshield
Standard windshield wiper fluid can freeze in extreme cold. Use one designed for colder climates. Also, get winter wiper blades to cut through snow and ice. Check the spray nozzles of your windshield washer system and use a needle or pin to clear blockages.
4. Test Your Lights
Perform a visual inspection of your lights. Make sure the front and rear lights are operational, especially the flashing hazard lights. In addition, have someone watch you pump your brakes to check your brake lights.
5. Rinse Off Road Salt
Salt used to de-ice roads during winter can damage your vehicle’s paint. Rinsing it off every once in a while can help, but a good wash and coat of fresh wax will help prevent corrosion and keep your vehicle looking great all winter long.
It is always best to try and avoid extreme weather conditions or wait them out whenever possible. Following the above tips will help prepare your vehicle for the cold winter weather ahead.