The winter months can be a delight. The days might be shorter but that gives us more excuses to tuck ourselves up indoors. The coziness of Christmas draws closer and there’s always a reason to indulge in a hot chocolate!
But there are elements of winter that make our lives that bit more difficult. The weather turns more vicious; the rain turns to snow – which then turns to ice. It’s these hostile weather conditions that can have a negative impact on your car and your ability to drive it safely. These weather conditions can also lead to issues if you don’t maintain your car properly.
Carrying out the proper checks and ensuring your vehicle is stored safely and correctly can
Although adverse weather conditions can do damage to your vehicle, there are lots of ways you can protect it.
Prepare your tires for winter
The best protection you can give your car against the harsh winter months is investing in winter tires. The only contact your car has with the ground is through the tires so they’re the part of your car that you really don’t want to scrimp on. Investing in winter tires minimizes your risk of skidding on icy surfaces as they have a deeper tread depth than regular or summer tires.
If the weather isn’t bad enough to warrant winter tires, there are still extra precautions you can take. Cold air is denser than warm air thus taking up less space in your tire. This in turn will reduce the pressure inside your tire meaning they won’t be as inflated. So, make sure you’re checking your tire more regularly as the weather cools down.
Clear snow off the whole of your car
You might think that you only need to clear snow off your car so you’re able to see out, but that’s not strictly true. You need to ensure you’re clearing snow off the roof of your car too, especially if you’re going to be going at speed.
This is because snow can fly off and hit other cars and if the snow has hardened to ice, this could be dangerous. Ice hitting a windshield at speed could cause it to crack or even shatter, leading to an accident.
Keep an eye on wipers and wiper fluid
It’s not just our skin that suffers in the cold, the rubber on window wipers also has a battle against chillier temperatures. The cold can make rubber less flexible, and your wipers will struggle even more when trying to clear snow and ice.
You should also ensure you’re using winter washer fluid as well. Regular wiper fluid can freeze in colder temperatures – especially overnight. Switching to the winter washer fluid will ensure this doesn’t happen. Wipers are an essential part of your car when the weather is temperamental so checking they’re functioning properly is vital.
Ensure your battery is healthy
The cold takes a toll on your engine as it can slow it down. A warm engine runs a lot easier so it might be particularly sluggish on early mornings. You can avoid this issue by taking a booster pack with you or having one to hand in the trunk of the car.
Ensure your coolant and oil are in good condition
The viscosity of your oil can change as the temperature drops, especially if you drive an older vehicle. More modern cars often use oil with a lower viscosity regardless but it’s always worth double checking for peace of mind.
Your coolant is another liquid that can freeze when the temperature drops. Having antifreeze in your car or to hand is imperative during the winter months. Make sure you’re refreshing the coolant and antifreeze too as the older it is, the less efficient it is.
As long as you keep on top of your car maintenance, you shouldn’t face any issues this winter. And ensuring your car is stored safely and correctly out of the cold will make a big difference too.