It’s hard to believe with this mild winter, but winter prep is still a must for your car. And nothing is worse than having to deal with vehicle problems when you’re battling frigid temperatures, snow, ice and wind. So, while the weather is still tolerable, consider these five simple tips to properly winterize your vehicle:
1. Install new windshield wipers. Depending on the level of use they get, windshield wipers normally need to be replaced every six months or so. Don’t wait until a semi-truck splashes up a wintry mess into your line of sight to find out that you need a wiper replacement.
2. Top off windshield washer fluid and anti-freeze. Raise your hand if you’ve ever tried to rinse the salty gunk off your windshield, only to find out that your washer fluid reservoir is empty (c’mon, we know you’ve been there). Not only is this a frustrating problem, it could also be a safety concern. During the winter months, it’s a good idea to top off your fluid and keep an extra jug with you – just in case. The same goes for anti-freeze; this solution, as its name suggests, literally keeps your cooling system from freezing up.
3. Check your tire pressure and tread. As the temperature drops, it’s common for your tires to lose pressure – on average, one PSI for every 10 degrees. Proper tire pressure is a crucial element of driver safety, as it affects overall traction, cornering and braking. Check your door jamb for the recommended inflation level and ensure that it stays within safe levels throughout the winter.
4.Stock a winter emergency kit. Don’t find yourself stranded in the frozen tundra with nothing to keep you warm. Keep several warm blankets, a heavy coat, a first aid kit and a cell phone charger – among other things – stowed away in case you need them.
5. Have your battery checked. The frosty weather can quickly take its toll on your battery, often reducing its capacity. Before old man winter officially arrives, stop by your neighborhood Tire Discounters store for a free battery check to make sure yours is up to snuff.
Don’t let winter get in the way of a smooth and enjoyable drive. We hope these tips help you prepare for the cold months ahead. Travel safe!