10 Steps For Preparing Your Car For Safe Winter Driving
10 Steps For Preparing Your Car
For Safe Winter Driving
Winter is once again right around the corner. We agree, time really does fly. Aside from your car once again turning into an icebox, there comes an increased risk of accidents. Thus, for the safety of all passengers, we have listed the many preparations you can make to practice safe driving in the winter mayhem.
1. Take Care of Nagging Issues
You know, those problems such as hard starts, stalling, and rough idling that may have been put off for too long already. These problems become worse in the winter and can negatively impact your ability to practice safe winter driving, causing you to possibly miss an important morning of work or cost you bundles of cash. Therefore, you should get them fixed at a reputable shop.
2. Use Antifreeze
Moisture freezing in your fuel lines can cause them to burst or become deformed when the water expands into ice. To prevent this costly problem from happening to you, tentatively add 1 bottle of antifreeze per month, and keep a regular eye on it.
3. Replace Old Wiper Blades
When living in a climate that sees snow and ice, you should have some rubber-clad blades to fend off windshield ice. Also, make sure you have enough windshield washer fluid; you probably go through it quicker than you realize in the winter.
4. Inspect Your Tires
A 2011 study done in Canada, the land of harsh winters, concluded there was a 5% reduction in winter accidents after Quebec required winter tire use. Worn or deflated tires are one of the most common contributors to winter accidents, and unless you inspect them first, you may not know they are a problem until it's too late.
5. Check Your Brakes
Brakes wear down slowly over time, and it may not be very noticeable when the roads aren't covered with snow. However, worn brakes in the winter are a serious accident concern, especially in the case of having to make sudden stops.
6. Prep an Emergency Kit
Safe winter driving involves being ready for an emergency. You never know when a severe snowstorm could hit and leave you stranded. Make sure you have gloves, boots, blankets, sand, a flashlight, flares, a shovel, water, and non-perishable food.
7. Check Drive Belts
Accessory drive belts become especially prone to cracking in cold weather, so you should thoroughly check the underside of each one to determine if they need replacement before winter hits.
8. Inspect Engine Hoses
Check engine hoses for brittleness or a spongy feeling that indicates moisture. A brittle hose is much more likely to crack in cold conditions, and hoses with moisture increase the risk of frozen lines.
9. Keep the Gas Tank Filled
Preventing your tank from going below the 1/2 threshold will ensure less condensation, and thus, cleaner starts on those especially cold mornings.
10. Tire Rotation and Alignment Check
We strongly recommend this step because uneven wear can negatively affect your car's ability to grip the road. Ultimately, safe winter driving starts with tires that have maximum traction. Before winter season hits, take your car to the local shop for a rotation and alignment.