Winter Maintenance Tips
When you drive in the winter, you hope that your car will run smooth and that there will be no problems with the electrical system or engine. Winter is tough on your car and in the absence of winter maintenance, unexpected car problems are bound to surface. Here are some easy winter maintenance tips that will make your car fit for icy, snow-laden roads.
Swap Regular Tires with Winter Tires
Regular tires are not built for winter weather. The tread rubber of regular tires hardens at colder temperatures. The result is that the tire just rolls on the road and does not have a grip on the road surface. This can increase the chances of an accident as roads are covered with ice and become slippery. Winter tires have s special rubber formulation that keeps the tread rubber soft even at subzero temperatures. In simple words, winter tires offer good traction even on ice and snow-laden roads.
Check Tire Pressure
Air pressure in tires reduces as temperatures plummet. You need to check tire pressure periodically and maintain the recommended pressure in tires. Car manufacturers suggest that car owners maintain a 2-3 psi higher air pressure than generally recommended. This is because with every 10 degree fall in temperature, the air pressure in tire gets reduced by 1-2 pounds. Driving a car with under inflated tires causes premature wear of treads which means early tire replacement.
Your car battery takes a beating in the winter season. If your battery is weak, it might not be able to survive the harsh winter. The result is that you will end up stuck on the road in a car with a dead battery. You need to check the condition of the battery and ensure it can hold a charge for longer periods. Check the battery for signs of corrosion and leaks. If the battery is three years old or older, you should consider changing the battery.
Check Wiper Blades and Washer Fluid
In the winter season, seeing out of your windshield becomes more important and also more difficult. This increases the importance of wiper blades and washer fluid in the winter. Wiper blades keep your windshield clear. During winter, the roads become slushy and muddy and other cars can splatter your car’s windshield with dirt. In such a scenario, the washer fluid will help clean the windows for better visibility.
Top Up Coolant with Antifreeze
Coolant keeps your engine from freezing in winter. According to experts, you should have a 50/50 water and antifreeze mixture in the radiator. With time, the antifreeze compound gets diluted. Hence, you need to add antifreeze compound to the coolant for better engine protection from cold weather.
During winter, the days get shorter and you may need lights more often when driving home. You need to check headlights, brake lights and fog lights to ensure they glow bright. If any bulb is not working, get it changed.
Winter car maintenance makes your car more fit for the harsh weather. In the absence of winter maintenance, small problems with the engine or electrical systems can become larger causing breakdowns and leave you stranded on the road.