Winter Tips For Your Automobile

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Winter is finally here in full force, so we thought it is the best time to give you some winter tips for your automobile. Driving in inclement winter weather can cause fatal accidents. Read these tips and implement them so you can stay as safe as possible this winter.

Swap Your Tires – Winter

Swap out your regular tires for winter tires. If you live in an area where temperatures fall below 45 degrees Fahrenheit regularly, winter tires are recommended. “All season” tires have been on the market for decades, but they don’t do much to help your vehicle slow down or turn. Winter tires of today are quiet and effective on frozen stuff.
Make sure there’s enough tread on your tires as you head into wintertime, as well. Getting through snow requires the deepest grooves possible in your tires. Worn tires will make you slid or put you into a ditch.

Check Tire Pressure Weekly

Driving on underinflated tires can cause the tires to wear down and lose traction on ice or other slippery surfaces. Check your tire pressure weekly and fill them as needed. Your tires lose a pound of pressure with every 10 degree drop in temperature. An underinflated tire won’t get through the snow down to the pavement as well as one at pressure. Don’t forget to put the valve caps back on when you’re done! If moisture gets in and freezes, it could let the valve core leak out air.

Check Your Battery

Winter weather puts more stress on your battery, especially if you park outside. Make sure to check your battery when the cold starts to settle in. Repair shops usually don’t charge very much to test your battery and some car parts stores may even do it for free.

Check Your Antifreeze

This is most folk’s first thought when it comes to winter care. Chances are your antifreeze, or engine coolant, is just fine for the winter ahead if you’ve followed your vehicle’s service schedule regularly. If you have missed a service interval or have any other reason to doubt your coolant, go ahead and have it flushed and filled.

Check Your Washer Fluid, Too

If you’ve been cheating and adding plain water in your washer fluid tank, please stop. This is a bad idea, because sitting water can lead to Legionnaire’s disease. It also helps you none when you spray water on your windows to clean them and they just freeze right up. Having a watery mess freeze and expand in the reservoir and tubes of your washer system can be costly to repair. Pay attention to the label of the washer fluid, as different formulas have different freezing points than others. Choose one that is appropriate for the climate your vehicle will be in.

Keep Your Fuel Tank Half Full

It’s a good idea to keep your tank at least half full of fuel in the winter. In case of an emergency or your vehicle gets stuck in the snow, it’s good to have this done so you don’t run out of gas as you wait for rescue.

Add A Protective Layer To Your Vehicle

A coat of a polymer wax creates a good barrier against things you will find on the road in the winter time. It can protect against road salt, grime, snow, sleet and ice. Obviously, get the wax done before any winter weather arrives in your area.

Clean Your Car

High pressure car washes after winter storms are highly recommended. These help rinse away snow and ice buildup in hard to reach areas of your vehicle, such as wheels and the underbody. Also, remember to keep your vehicle clean in winter time by removing the leaves, twigs and other organic matter that finds their way onto or into your vehicle. When debris builds up in areas of your car where water is supposed to run out, you can get leaks or corrosion.
A less common issue is animals who may make your vehicle their home for the winter (they’re cold, too!) Make sure to check under the hood and under the car for any creatures burrowing in there.

Keep Up On Windshield Wiper Maintenance

Winter windshield wipers are no longer necessary for wintertime. Most cars from the last decade have a type of blade called “beam blades” that aren’t prone to freezing. To keep them clean, wipe them down with window cleaner or vinegar. Removing dirty and dry rubber will allow them to work at their best efficiency. Make sure to change them when it’s necessary, just cleaning them won’t solve all of your problems when they have gone bad. Never use your bladers to remove ice, snow or frost from the windshield though – use an ice scraper for that. If your car is parked outdoors when snow or ice is anticipated, leave the wipers in a raised position to prevent them freezing to the windshield.

Make Yourself A Winter Kit

Stock your car up with a winter kit. Things to put in this kit include warm clothing like hats, gloves, scarves, hand and foot warmers, socks, and blankets. Store a flashlight with extra batteries, an extra phone charger, candles and a lighter, plastic bags, flares, jumper cables, kitty litter, an extra ice scraper, and a small shovel in your kit. Small portable snacks and bottled water are also handy to have in your winter kit in case it is some time before you can get rescued. The more rural and remote your roads are, the more you want to stash away in your winter kit. However, even the best survival kit won’t do anything for you if you’re in an upside down car, can’t get out, and your kit is in the trunk. Store it in your backseat so you can grab it easily in the case of an emergency.
Follow these winter tips to make this season a little easier on you, no matter where you go. Stay safe and warm, and remember to contact us today at +1 (469) 494-3807 or through the website for any of your auto glass needs.