How to Prepare Your Car for Tough Winter Driving

Home / How to Prepare Your Car for Tough Winter Driving
November 3, 2021

Winter driving means your car can be affected by cold temperatures, snow, ice, rain, and various other types of weather, which are hazardous to drive in. Therefore you must prepare your car before the colder temperatures arrive. You will then avoid having to repair or replace broken components on your vehicle. 

Follow these simple steps to ensure that your car is ready for winter.

1. Check tire pressure.

Check all tires regularly for air loss due to freezing temperatures to reduce the risk of skidding or explosion during cold weather conditions. If they have lost air pressure, inflate them with a hand pump until they regain their standard shape and firmness. Keep track of how much air you've pumped into each tire so you can check if any further air loss occurs.

2. Keep the windows and lights clean and replace any damaged wiper blades.

During winter, dirt and ice can build up on your car windows, preventing you from seeing out of it correctly. For this reason, keep your windows free from dirt and grime by washing them regularly. Additionally, ensure your car's lights are clean, so other drivers will be able to see you clearly during nights or dark days. If your wiper blades need replacing, then do that for better visibility in poor weather conditions.

3. Check engine oil levels and lubrication points.

Properly working engine oil is essential for good fuel economy, proper cold-weather starting, and extended engine life. Check your engine oil levels regularly to ensure they are complete. If you have an automatic transmission, check the fluid status regularly as well.

4.  Fill up the radiator with coolant before winter arrives.

When it gets cold, water expands and can cause your car's radiator to crack. To avoid this, fill up the radiator with a solution of antifreeze and water. If you keep your car in a garage or shed that is temperature-controlled, then check here for a list of how much antifreeze to add to your vehicle's cooling system. 

Otherwise, you can purchase a jug of premixed coolant from any automotive service station. Never use only plain water in your car, as this will freeze at low temperatures and damage or destroy your engine block.

5. Remove snow from all accessible parts of your car.

During colder temperatures, snow and ice can form on your car's exterior, which could cause problems such as clogged drains and water lines. To avoid this, remove as much snow as possible from your vehicle before the winter months arrive. 

If you live in an area with a heavy accumulation of snow, then it might be a good idea to invest in a set of tire chains because these will give you better traction and help prevent accidents.

6. Put your vehicle's fuel tank at least half-full during winter.

Since cold weather reduces the amount of available oxygen that the engine needs to run smoothly, always ensure that your car's gas tank is at least half full during winter months to maintain proper fuel for easier starting. 

An empty tank may also cause your engine to run dry and stop, so avoid this by keeping it half-full.

7. Keep an emergency kit inside the car.

In case something goes wrong, then keep a safety kit stocked with necessary supplies such as jumper cables, flares, first-aid kit, flashlight, and road maps in your trunk just in case you get stuck somewhere on a slippery road. 

If possible, make sure someone else knows where you are heading and check in with them regularly. This will allow them to send help if you break down and get stranded during poor weather conditions.

8. Store your vehicle properly.

If you cannot keep your car constantly running, do not leave the engine idling always when parked because this does not provide enough heat for the safe starting of the engine during cold weather conditions.

Ensure that all windows are closed while the engine is off and fuel is no longer being used by storing your vehicle in a garage or covered parking area where exposure to bad weather will be limited.   

9. Get your car serviced and maintained regularly.

Get your vehicle serviced before winter comes along. Always have your car serviced professionally at an automotive center before the arrival of winter so that all vital components are in excellent working order so you can enjoy safe driving conditions during snowfall or icy weather.

This article has taught you tips and tricks about winter car preparation. It has given you a list of things to do before the weather gets colder outside.

One of our goals at Surge Auto Glass in St Catharines is to provide you, our clients, with valuable safety recommendations such as the one you just read. We think that safe driving should be a top priority at all times. Winter car preparation is vital for every motorist to ensure a safe journey during the winter months of each year.

In St Catharines and the Niagara region, call us for car glass repair and replacement services, which we specialize in. You can rely on us to complete the task effectively and adequately. You can trust us to get the job done and done correctly!

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