How to Get Your Car Ready for Cold Weather
Before the cold weather arrives, it is always good to prepare your car for the harsh conditions that lay ahead. Here are some easy-to-follow tips to get your car ready for your winter.
Drain Old Coolant
The importance of adding coolant increases in the cold weather. The anti-freeze compound prevents the water in the radiator from freezing. If the existing solution looks rusty or has dirt particles floating in it, drain the old coolant. Regardless of the color, the coolant loses its protective properties over time. Drain coolant periodically as mentioned in the owner’s manual.
For winter, the recommended water-to-coolant ratio is 40:60. If you live in a region where the temperature drops below zero, the recommended ratio is 30:70.
Swap Regular Tires with Winter Tires
Regular tires perform poorly in cold weather. The reason is their tread rubber loses grip at lower temperatures. When temperatures drop below 14 degrees, the tread rubber of regular tires hardens and the tires act like a plastic ball rolling on snow with little or no traction. On the other hand, winter tires are specifically built for cold weather. In addition to specialized compounds, winter tires also have a specialized tread design that makes driving through snow and slush much safer.
Check Wipers and Washer Fluid
Regular washer fluid freezes in cold weather, so you need to drain the old washer fluid and add anti-freeze windshield wash to the reservoir. This specialized washer fluid has a de-icer to help the ice melt on the windshield quickly and the solution does not freeze, even at sub-zero temperatures. Similarly, the wiper blades need to be in good condition. If your car’s wiper blades have any sign of damage, get winter wiper blades.
Add a Wax Coat
During winter, road salt, grime and ice can cause damage to your car’s paint. Experts advise applying a wax coat before the first snowfall. The wax coat acts as a protective layer between road salt, grime and snow and your car’s paint.
Check All Lights
During cold weather the visibility is low, and you need to use your lights more often, even during the day. Check all your car’s lights, including high-beams, taillights, fog lights and signal lights. Replace any fused bulbs. Also, make sure the light covers are clean and reflective.
Keep the Fuel Tank Full
Condensation in empty fuel tank space is a common thing. However, this can create problems in cold weather. As the temperatures drop, the condensation may freeze the fuel line, causing starting problems. By keeping the fuel tank full, you can prevent condensation and related problems altogether.
Check the Defroster and Heater
During winter, the moisture buildup on the windshield can reduce visibility. The defroster needs to function efficiently to clear the moisture on the windshield. Similarly, the heater needs to work efficiently to keep you warm when traveling in cold weather
If you follow these preventive care tips for your car, you are more likely to have a hassle-free travel experience during the winter season.