Winter is here and the road conditions that come with this season can take a toll on our cars. From low tire pressure to icy roadways, wintry weather certainly makes driving trickier to navigate safely; especially if drivers aren’t maintaining their cars throughout the season. Although proper car maintenance is important all year round, it’s essential during the winter months. Thus, for drivers to feel confident on the roadways this season, it’s important to be well-versed in winter car care tips.
With the drastic drop in temperatures comes the need to remain alert for upcoming inclement weather. In order to feel secure while behind the wheel this season, it’s pertinent to apply these winter car maintenance tips to ensure our vehicles are safe to drive before every ride.
Winter car care tips
1. Check out the car battery.
Wintry conditions surely take their toll on our cars, especially on a cars’ battery life. To put just how taxing colder temperatures can be on a car’s battery into perspective; when the temperature is at 0° F, the battery only has half the power it does during the warmer months of the year. Therefore, in order to avoid being stranded on the side of the road with a dead battery or needing to jump your car in the cold, it’s a good idea to get the battery tested at different points throughout the season. By doing so, drivers will be cognizant of the performance of their battery and know when it’s time to replace it.
2. Evaluate the fuel tank.
During the winter season, it’s a good practice to always keep the fuel tank at least half full. The reason being; colder precipitation can lead to freezing water building up inside a car’s fuel pump. At the same time, inclement weather conditions can lead to a snow emergency occurring while drivers are out on the roadways. Thus, with a good amount of fuel in the car, drivers can safely stay warm within their vehicles.
3. Clear off all windows (both inside and out).
Throughout the winter months, drivers will undoubtedly experience longer commute times by having to clear off the snow and ice that accumulates on our vehicles. By using windshield wipers and an ice scraper, drivers will be able to attain clear visibility before getting behind the wheel. Both the windshield wipers as well as an ice scraper will remove the wintry debris on the car and allow drivers to see and be seen on the roadways.
4. Monitor tire pressure.
As the temperature outside declines, the air pressure in our tire’s decline. In fact, drivers can lose up to one pound of tire pressure with every 10 degrees drop in temperature. Tires that have low air pressure are vulnerable to wear and tear as well as handling the road less predictably. Because of this, it’s a good practice for drivers to routinely check out how their tires look before heading out on the roadways. If they do appear low, drivers should head to the closest gas station air pump.
5. Don’t forget the winter emergency kit.
The winter season can be a very unpredictable time of year for the forecast. Because of this, it’s always a best practice to keep a road emergency kit in case the unexpected winter conditions happen while drivers are out on the road. Some key components to keep in a car are; a first-aid kit, a blanket, jumper cables, a flashlight, and some water and snacks. By having one on hand, drivers are prepared for the unplanned moments when they need it most.
Winter car care should be incorporated into drivers’ daily routines as a preventative measure to assure the safest drive possible. Wintry conditions can surely be daunting and stressful for even the most seasoned drivers to endure. However, with a roadmap to preventative winter car care tactics, drivers will be well-versed in safe winter driving habits. This winter, please drive safe and stay warm!