According to the US Department of Transportation, about 900 people succumb to vehicle crashes during sleet or snowfall annually. Additionally, about 76,000 injuries are reported yearly due to the same snowfall vehicle crashes! While above 70% of national roads are in areas prone to snowfall, what better way to be safe than to prepare a car care winter guide?
Winter can be very harsh on your vehicle, and winterizing your car will be prudent as you are gearing up to face the cold. Doing so will keep your vehicle on top performance when temperatures drop below zero. Also, you’ll be extending your vehicle’s life in the long run. In this article, we will discuss in depth why a car care guide is necessary for the winter. Also, you’ll learn about car care fixes that your car won’t survive the winter without, such as the installation of winter wiper blades and snow tires.
Keep reading to learn how you can enhance your car’s winter safety while avoiding costly auto repairs due to winter car damage. But before a car care guide tip, why go through the hassle of taking extra care of your car during winter? Below are five reasons to convince you.
Importance of Caring for Your Car During Winter
If you are unaware by now, a car care guide for the winter is essentially a lifesaver! The following are reasons why you should never skip winterizing your vehicle.
Generally, everybody hates driving in the cold. If you find yourself stuck while at it, a sound air conditioning system keeps you warm and comfortable as you drive. Some cars have a system that hits the seats when the low temperature is unbearable.
For this reason, checking your heating system is crucial and should be at the top of a car care list for the winter is essential. An efficient system ensures you are comfortable while driving, enhancing concentration on the road. Although it sounds basic, ensure you do not skip this important car fix before.
Winter driving conditions, such as snow and ice, are dangerous. They tend to be slippery, making motorists susceptible to accidents. A poorly maintained vehicle only makes the situation worse. For example, avoid driving with faulty brakes or tires with bad tread. For this reason, part of a car care guide is ensuring your car is in good shape. This will be the first step to keeping you safe from hazardous winter driving.
3. Elements Protection
Generally, this applies to ensuring that you have more than enough windshield wiper fluid, windshield wipers in good condition, and antifreeze to help protect your engine from freezing. Such care tips aid in having proper road visibility and lessen the chances of your vehicle not starting up, especially on cold mornings.
Your lighting system needs to be in great condition, which will be useful in a dangerous storm. Also, whenever other drivers can’t spot you due to low visibility, you’ll be in a risky situation of being hit by a car.
Although checking your lighting system sounds simple, it can be the only difference between a life and death situation, which is why you include it in a car care list.
Winter Car Care Guide For Your Consideration
From a frozen fuel line and low tire pressure to road salt damage, the cold season can have a hard toll on your vehicle. Therefore, it’s wise to create a car care guide whenever temperatures drop, to protect your car from winter damage, and ensure it remains at its peak performance.
To properly winterize your vehicle, below are top car care guide tips to get you started.
1. Examine Your Tire Tread Depth
Winter driving and worn-out tires are a recipe for disaster. Defective tires have lower stability on wet roads and steadily increase a vehicle’s stopping distance. Therefore, you’ll have a hard time braking, and in case of an emergency, a car accident due to slipping on ice might be inevitable.
According to the National Library of Medicine, most states require a minimum of 2/32-inch tread depth standard. But this is not enough. Tire traction decreases faster when tires wear more than 4/32-in. Driving with a bad tire on your driveway could damage property. For instance, you can easily bump into your garage, causing substantial damage. This means extra repair costs for new garage door installation. A garage door repairs expert can help fix the doors to prevent further problems.
If you want to avoid such slip-and-slide accidents, it will be wise to prioritize snow tires. Experts in a car care guide recommend taking your vehicle to authorized auto shops for a check-up. For example, if you own a BMW, take it to a BMW auto repair shop for examination, and if you have a Porsche, Porsche services sound like a good plan.
Snow tires are made for snow driving, giving them much more traction than all-season tires. Also, their performance on ice is unmatched by significantly minimizing skids in turns, helping your car stop much faster. Installation of winter tires equals saving you from possible winter accidents.
2. Install Winter Wiper Blades
During the cold season, wiper blades usually get overloaded with snow, forcing the blades to streak or pass over big swaths of the windshield. In such a case, the solution is to install winter wiper blades, which eliminate the problem quickly.
Winter wipe blades have a rubber that covers the whole blade, which prevents snow and ice from packing and sticking. These wipers provide clear visibility and safer winter driving, especially for people with driving jobs, who spend most hours on the road.
3. Examine The Coolant/Antifreeze
Your car engine coolant protects your engine from cracking and freezing. Additionally, the coolant has water pump lubricants and anti-corrosive additives, which keep the whole cooling system in excellent working condition, making it a car care guide essential. For this reason, you’ll need to examine your coolant regularly.
What’s more, keeping your gas tank full during the winter helps prevent accumulated water inside your fuel pump from freezing. If you get stuck, you’ll keep the heat running and your car on for a longer time, keeping you warm and safe before the rescue team arrives.
4. Examine Your Hood Lifts
If your gas lift cylinders give you trouble during warm days, they’ll quit working once temperatures go below zero. In this case, you should replace them early when temperatures start dropping. Also, replace them in pairs because the right and the left lift receive similar wear and tear.
5. Examine Cabin Air Filter
Most drivers neglect cabin air filters on late-model trucks and vehicles. Although they don’t consider cabin air filters essential, a clogged one can drastically reduce airflow through the car heater, causing stress on the blower motor while overheating the resistor. If you have a scheduled truck repair service, ensure the checking of cabin air filters for your winter driving safety.
6. Examine Your Car Battery & Battery Terminals
Your car battery has a limited life span. Also, it becomes increasingly challenging to work well during the cold season. For this reason, testing your car battery is a top car care guide recommendation. You do not want to get stuck during the winter, so having a volt test on your battery will determine whether it is strong enough to take you through the winter or if you need to change it.
Corroded battery terminals and posts can easily cause starting problems, especially when temperatures hit below zero. Also, corrosion build-up may prevent the recharging of your battery from the charging system.
Suppose you want to prevent car starting issues – which can be irritating in the mornings. In this case, having a battery terminal check-up is an excellent idea. After thorough battery terminal care, using a battery terminal protectant spray will be wise to minimize any corrosion build-up.
7. Ensure Your Lighting System
According to NASA, during the winter, days are shorter and nights longer, so you’ll use your car lights more in the winter than in summer. For this reason, you’ll want to ensure that your car’s lighting system is in excellent condition to take you through the winter.
If your lights are out or appear yellowish or foggy and do not change during a car wash, you should consider changing your bulb. When the problem persists, it will be your cue for a car care appointment for an in-depth lighting system examination.
8. Examine Your Window Tracks
Another important car care guide tip is ensuring your car window tracks are in good condition. During the winter, freezing water seeps inside the window tracks, which causes drag when opening the window. The drag can potentially cause considerable damage to the window regulator cables, which are expensive, costing about $300. If you want to avoid the problem altogether, it is advisable to take your car for a window track examination.
Usually, in such a case, you can lubricate your window tracks with Teflon spray or silicon spray lubricant to eliminate the problem.
9. Lubing Your Door Locks, Weather Stripping, Hinges, and Latches
Lubing Your Door Locks
You probably no longer use your trunk and door locks, assuming your vehicle has a remote keyless entry, which may lead you to ignore lubing your door locks. If you don’t lubricate the lock cylinders, they will suffer from corrosion, which means you’ll be unable to use your car keys in case your keyless battery remote dies.
You do not want to be locked out of your vehicle, especially during the winter. This explains why lubricating your door locks make it into a car care guide.
Lube Weather Stripping
When water seeps between the weather strip and your door in the winter, it can freeze you out of your vehicle. If you want to prevent such a scenario, it would be best to schedule a car care procedure to check your weather stripping. Usually, the solution is coating the mating door surfaces and weather-stripping them with spray silicone. If you want to protect your car’s interior from silicone spray, get professionals to do the job for you.
Lube Hinges and Latches
When your car fails to start, the probable cause might be sticking hood latch compounds. The latch system is behind the grille, which is usually prone to corrosion because of the salt spray from cars in front of you when driving. Taking your vehicle for latch mechanism lubrication will help prevent car starting problems early. Therefore, latch maintenance always appears in a car care guide.
10. Climate Control and Defroster System Check
Frost is a common problem during winter. When temperatures drop, it is wise to take your vehicle for a climate control and defroster system check. The climate control system is necessary to keep you warm while driving in the cold, while the defroster system works to prevent your windows from getting icy and foggy, giving you good clarity on the road.
Ensure you keep your car’s climate control and defroster system in good condition during winter to enhance your driving safety.
Adhering to a car care guide for the winter is a step in the right direction in reducing winter driving accidents. Doing so will protect you from possible winter road accidents. Remember, about 900 deaths occur from icy and snowy road crashes. Therefore, before purchasing car insurance coverage, it would be wise to inquire if the car insurance policy covers winter-related accidents.
The cold season can be tough on your vehicle. For this reason, consider scheduling your vehicle’s proper car care, such as climate control check, defroster system check, and installation of winter wiper blades. Also, replace your tires with winter tires, and conduct your car battery examination to ensure your vehicle runs on peak performance during the winter. You’ll need to do extra to give your vehicle the care it deserves. For example, ensuring the RV storage unit is free from snow pile-ups before parking your vehicle will be a good start. Drive safely!