Tips For Winterizing Your Car
With colder weather quickly approaching for many in the United States, it's the right time of year to begin preparing your vehicle for the icy conditions ahead. Winterizing your car involves several steps to ensure you can safely traverse the roads between December and April. Here are a few tips on what to look for, what to replace, and what to keep an eye on.
The first thing you should do is install winter wipers. These have specialized rubber, which helps keep ice from collecting on the blades. This heavier-duty style will do you well during a snowstorm, just be sure to remove them come spring.
Depending on where you live, you may want to install winter tires or add chains to your tires. With special compounds added to the rubber, winter tires stand up to colder temperature and retain better tire pressure. Tire pressure is also something to keep an eye on throughout the winter. As the temperature changes, the air in your tires will expand and contract more drastically than during the warmer months. It is good to check this at least once every two weeks.
Keep your washer fluid full. Washer fluid is designed to stay liquid at cold temperatures. As many states salt their roads to keep them free of ice, this salt can quickly build up on your windshield making it very difficult to see.
It is also a very good idea to have a winter safety kit ready in your car. This should contain several items, such as: road flares, a pack of matches, a first aid kit, a flashlight with extra batteries, an ice scraper, jumper cables, non-perishable food and water, an extra set of clothing, extra antifreeze, a car tool kit, and most importantly a bag of sand and a shovel. These items will help you in case an emergency leads your car off-road and stuck.
Lastly, always keep a full tank of gas and maintain proper service throughout the winter. If you are stuck overnight, you will burn additional fuel to run the heater in your car to stay warm. However, if you follow the tips here, you'll be right as rain by morning.