If you want to ensure that your vehicle runs smoothly this winter, you need to ensure that you winterize your vehicle, especially if it was manufactured before 1980. And even though modern cars done really require an extensive amount of winterization routines, there are still some things you’ll need to do before the winter season approaches. As such, now is the opportune time for you to winterize your vehicle. Here are 7 ways to prepare you vehicle for the upcoming winter season.
1) Consider The Possibility Of Acquiring Snow Tires
If you live within an area that experiences an accumulation of snow, frequently during most of the winter season, consider the possibility of swapping your regular tires for snow tires. Snow tires consist of a softer rubber material that allows them to retain sustainability as far as traversing snow covered roads with a high degree of traction. Additionally, they also have tread patterns that are specifically designed to grip into ice and snow. While they may not be able to eliminate the chance that your vehicle may slip, they provide a higher level of traction than regular tires.
2) If Your Vehicle Utilizes A Four-Wheel Drive System Have It Checked By A Mechanic
While it may be true that four-wheel drive based vehicles, provide a high level of traction when traversing on icy and snowy roads. That is only if it’s working efficiently. Therefore, ensure that you have your four-wheel drive system checked by a mechanic who will ensure that the system runs smoothly and that the gear and transmission fluids are at their appropriate level.
3) Evaluate Your Anti-Freeze Mixture
Your anti-freeze mixture within your radiator should be approximately 50:50 (anti-freeze and water). By keeping the ratio at 50:50, it will prevent the coolant from freezing while it’s in your radiator. It’s also worth noting that you can utilize an anti-freeze tester to determine this 50:50 ratio. However, while it may be true that this is something that you can do on your own, it’s highly recommended that you utilize a mechanic who knows how to accurately read your anti-freeze to water ratio.
4) Stock Your Vehicle With Emergency Supplies
Due to the unpredictable nature of the winter season, you’ll never know when you could end up in a blizzard and become stranded on the side of the road. Therefore, ensure that you stock your vehicle with emergency supplies such as:
* Ice Scraper
* Roadside Flares
* Reflective Triangle
* First Aid Kit
* Water Bottles
* Warm Blankets
* Battery Pack
* Portable Power Bank (cellphones/tablets)
* Jumper Cables
5) Check Your Your Engine’s Hoses And Belts For Signs Of Wear And Tear
Cold temperatures can cause your belts and hoses within your engine to deteriorate. Therefore, check for signs of wear and tear and have them evaluated by a mechanic if needed. The reason being is that, if a belt or hose with your engine breaks while you are in the midst of driving, your vehicle may become inoperable right in the middle of the road.
6) Contact A Mechanic To Conduct A Battery Load Test
Cold temperatures are particularly harsh on a vehicle’s battery. This is due to the fact that the chemical reactions that are required to generate power in a vehicle’s car battery actually slow down in cold temperatures. For example, at 5 degrees F, a fully charged battery, consist of only half of it’s amp-hour capacity. Additionally, your engine needs more current from the vehicle’s battery, in order for it to get started. Therefore, contact your local mechanic so that they can conduct a battery load test, to see if the last winter season may have damaged your battery to the point where it may need to be replaced.
7) Replace Wiper Fluid And Windshield Wipers
The last thing you would want to happen is for you to drive down the road at nighttime, when suddenly a passing storm of freezing rain, beats at your windshield as you click your wipers so that you can see clearly, but nothing happens. Low visibility during cold weather conditions can be particularly dangerous and could possibly lead to the manifestation of an accident. That is why you need to ensure that your wiper fluid is filled up and that you replace your windshield wipers at least once per year.