11 Ways to Winterize Your Car for Winter Driving Safety
Driving during the winter season can often become very hazardous, especially if ice and snow are present on the roadway. Even though you may take the necessary steps to become ready for winter driving, your car may not be. And if your car is not up for the challenge that is winter driving, you may be faced with stressful – and cold – encounters. In order to prepare your vehicle for the winter season, follow the recommendations below.
- Have Your Car Serviced for the Winter Conditions: Long before any true harsh winter conditions settle in, have your vehicle serviced by a car care professional. Start with the basics; have your battery checked out because as the cold temperatures settle in, your battery tends to lose strength and potentially limit your car from starting. Replace old wires, belts, hoses, and spark plugs before they go bad during an inopportune time. Don’t forget about your cooling system, specifically antifreeze. It’s recommended to maintain a ratio between 50/50 and 70/30.
- Switch to Winter Tires: If you live in an area that experiences extremely cold winters, installing winter tires is a logical idea. When temperatures drop, non-winter tires harden and limit traction on the road. Winterized tires contain compounds that prevent hardening, thus allowing control to be maintained even in the most hazardous conditions.
- Maintain Tire Pressure: Check your tire pressure often during the winter, as ever changing temperatures can result in decreased pressure.
- Install Winter Wipers: Winter wipers are equipped with rubber that is ice resistant, preventing build up and keep them efficient and effective.
- Keep Washer Fluid Full: Replace your windshield wiper fluid often. Large storms in the winter can deplete your reservoir so be sure to constantly check and refill if necessary. If you’re not sure if the washer fluid is the correct blend for winter, add a bottle of washer fluid antifreeze to the reservoir.
- Check for Changing Temperatures that Could Affect Traction: Changing temperatures can affect both your traction and driving ability. Therefore, check to see how various temperature changes affect the mobility and handling of your vehicle.
- Pack a Winter Safety Kit: Before heading out on a road trip during the winter months, pack a utility and safety kit in case of emergency. The kit should include a first aid kit, flares, a flashlight, jumper cables, etc.
- Keep the Gas Tank at Least Half Full: Keeping gas in the tank is more important in winter than in the summer. Having a full tank reduces condensation, which prevents gas lines from freezing. And in case of a stranding, having a full tank of gas prolongs the heating of your vehicle.
- Keep Your Rear-Window Defroster in Working Order: If your rear view is obstructed while driving, the safety of your passengers and other motorists may be at stake. So, check your rear-window defroster before cold weather arrives to be sure it’s working properly.
- Learn Winter Emergency Preparedness: If you get stuck in a winter storm there are a few tips to follow including: do not leave your car for risk of losing sight of it, do not run your car for long periods of time to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning and turn on your dome lights to seek attention.
- Learn to Drive in Winter Conditions: Take time to learn to drive in winter conditions. The best way is to cautiously operate your vehicle in bad conditions to obtain a feel and gather how to handle obstacles and make proper adjustments.
For more information on winterizing your vehicle or to check out a new vehicle or used vehicle that will keep you going strong this winter visit Mancari’s in Oak Lawn. The Mancari Service Department can help you winterize your current vehicle!