How to Prep Your Ride for Winter Conditions
Have you ever noticed how many things break on your car once the temperature drop? Unless you live in the Deep South, it is essential to prep your ride before harsher winter weather arrives. Although it may seem senseless to consider a tune-up if you just had your vehicle serviced before hitting the road for your summer vacation, winter weather brings with it many challenging conditions. Moreover, a routine inspection can keep you from being stuck on the side of the road in nasty weather.
10 Tips to Ensure Your Vehicle Is Ready for Foul Weather
- Check Heater and Defroster - This is important for both creature comfort and visibility. During the winter months, the defroster is essential to keeping the car's windows clear.
- Flush Cooling System - Summer time is rough on your cooling system and most often causes a loss of fluids via the system's overflow. Make sure you have the right mixture for winter driving.
- Replace Dirty Air, PCV & Fuel Filters - Anything that reduces air or fuel flow will have a negative impact on an engine's performance. Keep your filters clean.
- Replace Engine Oil & Oil Filter - Summer mileage is hard on engine oil and the filter can become partially blocked with sludge. Engines love fresh oil and choose an appropriate winter weight.
- Check Battery and Ignition System - Batteries don't like cold weather. Any faulty ignition components can result in a hard to start engine or one that sputters its way through winter.
- Replace Worn Tires & Check Spare - Summer trips can leave tires worn unevenly, cupped or glazed. If you drive in areas with heavy snow or ice, consider new winter tires, and carry chains or traction mats.
- Have Your Brakes Checked - Slick winter roads can be very dangerous if your brakes grab or pull to either side.
- Replace Wiper Blades - Visibility is always an issue during the winter months. In some locations, drivers may want to consider installing heavier duty blades made for ice and snow.
- Use Fuel Water Remover - Ethanol blends of gasoline tend to absorb water and water in the fuel can cause fluctuating engine revs and eventually damage the injectors.
- Pack a Winter Emergency Kit - Being prepared can keep you rolling. Jumper cables, ice scraper, small shovel, traction mats, roadside flashlights, extra warm clothes, blankets and some non-perishable snacks can save your life.
An annoying problem during the warmer months could leave you've stranded and faced with life-endangering winter hazards. Don't procrastinate; get your vehicles ready for the weather ahead.