As the season’s change, so do the things we do to take care of ourselves. For instance, in Winter we make sure to dress warmly and stay up to date with our cold and flu vaccinations. Much like us, our vehicles are also affected by the cold, and since our cars are an important part of our lives, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t take care of them the same way. Here are a few tips to help you take better care of your four wheeled ‘friend’ this chilly season.
Have Your Brakes Checked
This is one of the most important things you can do to take care of yourself, your passengers, and your car, especially if you’re planning to drive in snowy or icy conditions. Inefficient brakes are a hazard and one of the main causes of winter driving accidents. Before you set off on a road trip, make sure to visit your local auto service center to check that your brakes are in optimal working order.
Learn How to Get Ice Off Your Windshield Properly
A frosty windshield is one of the more inconvenient side effects of the season. There are a number of old wives tale methods out there, including using a salt water and vinegar solution to dissolve the ice and even rubbing a raw onion on your windshield the night before to prevent it icing over. You’re free to try these out on your own time, but experts still say that the best deicing method requires patience and an effective ice scraper. Start your car up, and allow the heat from the engine to thaw the ice, while SLOWLY using the ice scraper to remove it. Use the scraper carefully and methodically, as going too fast can damage your windshield. Whatever you do, forgo the common hot water method because even if your window has the tiniest chip in it, the hot water will cause it to expand and crack. It’s just not worth the risk.
Make Sure Your Tires Are In Shape
Much like your brakes, your tires are an important part of winter driving safety. They help keep your car on the road in unfavorable conditions, so it’s important to make sure they’re in good shape before you go on any trips. Tread is particularly important, so even if your tires are just a little worn down, it’s probably a good idea to have them replaced.
Always Keep Your Gas Tank Half Full
During the winter months, your car’s gas lines are particularly at risk for moisture damage, and depending on the climate you’re in, even freezing. This can obviously cause a lot of problems and expensive repairs, so keep your gas tank half full during the colder months to prevent this from happening.
Keep checking our blog for more seasonal car care and road safety tips. Drive safe and stay warm, road warriors.
By Matt Stewart