Before the Winter Weather Arrives: 8 Car Essentials You Must Follow. “Summer is over, and winter is coming quickly coming upon us.” When you hear these words in connection to your car, you most likely think of the end of summer travels; however, the truly important thing to think about is car maintenance.
Every day someone’s car breaks down due to overlooking simple maintenance; a car breaking down during the cold months of winter can be life-threatening. Or worse than a break down can be a wreck due to faulty tires or car parts. Therefore, it’s very important to make sure your car is in good shape before winter driving begins.
The last place anyone needs to be is along a slick highway with a ruined engine, but this is exactly where any driver is likely to find themselves if they don’t take a few hours to change their oil. A lack of oil can cause serious damage to your car’s engine causing it to lock up. It’s important to be sure that your car has plenty of fresh, clean oil before you begin driving. What better time to check and change the oil than along with your other winter maintenance?
Tires that have a low tread can cause faulty driving and often can result in a blowout. Tire problems are serious during the summer months, but during the winter months, they can cause fatal accidents. Examine your tires to make sure the tread is unworn; if you have any concerns, replace them with new commercial tyres.
Another important task for any driver before they can safely drive on winter roads is to make sure that they have antifreeze in their engine. Antifreeze is an important fluid for your car; although it is not as well heard of as oil, antifreeze has just an as important job with keeping your engine running properly. During cold weather, antifreeze mixes with the water in a car’s engine. Antifreeze keeps the water from freezing, which in turn will keep your engine from cracking due to water expansion.
Check Your Battery
If your battery tends to go flat during the summer, it is very important that you replace it before the first cold wave hits. Cold weather takes the life out of batteries, so a battery that is faulty during warm months will be even worse during cold weather. Discovering that your battery has gone flat in a vacant parking lot can be dangerous since you will have no way to warm yourself if you have to wait for help to arrive. If you believe your battery to be faulty take it to a mechanic and have it tested, just to be sure it will hold a charge.
Replace Wiper Blades
While you are preparing your car for winter weather be sure to check your wiper blades. It will become harder to replace bad blades during cold weather, so making sure you have new wiper blades in place before the winter weather is a must. Without properly functioning wiper blades, it can become hard for a driver to see the road during a snowstorm which can easily result in a very serious accident.
Visit Your Mechanic
As much as we want to believe that we can foresee any problem our vehicles might have during the winter months we most likely can’t. Unless you are a very good mechanic it is easy to overlook bad ball joints or low brake fluid and many other bad parts. Ignoring any problem with your car can cause a fatal car accident.
Therefore, it is important that you take your car to a mechanic before winter weather sets in. Have a trusted mechanic go over your car well to make sure that there are no parts that need to be replaced. When you don’t know what is wrong with your car you are putting yourself and other drivers in danger every minute you spend on the road.
Before you can safely begin driving on winter roads, you need to be sure that you have emergency gear in your car. Fix yourself a duffle bag filled with things you might need in the event of an emergency. This kit could consist of emergency flashers, an air pump, a tire gauge, and a first aid kit. The hope for this kit is that you will never need it, but that you will still have it in the case an emergency situation should present itself.
A few more great things to keep in your duffle would be a blanket and an emergency heat source that you can use in case the car’s heater will not start. Keep this duffle bag in the trunk of your car, where you can easily find it when you need it.
So, there are a few of the safety measures you should take before you start your car this winter. Car maintenance is important at all times, but when you already know that driving will be hard, it is even more important to be sure everything is running well. No one ever expects to be in an emergency, but by following these maintenance guidelines you can prevent an accident and be prepared for one in the event one occurs.