How Winter Affects Your Car and What You Can Do to Prepare for It

Extreme weather conditions can have a significant effect on your car and the way you drive. With the winter months coming, you have to prepare your home for all the seasonal changes, but you have to prepare your car to ensure the most safety and comfort in the coming month or so. Here are five ways you can prepare your vehicle for the wintry weather ahead.

Check Your Tires

The first thing you should consider checking is your tires. First, check the tread. The tread is those little thin grooves that run along with your tires. Their main job is to create friction between the tire and the road to ensure that a car drives smoothly. With the coming winter, it can become more treacherous to drive out on the roads, what with all the snow and ice. As a driver, you have to be on the lookout for black ice constantly. Thus, your tires need to be in perfect condition to retain as much friction as possible and keep them from slipping on wet or icy roads and potentially leading to accidents.

You need to make sure that your tread is clean and not worn down. You can test this by using the penny method. Simply stick an upside-down penny into one of the grooves and watch. If the penny sinks way past Lincoln’s head, then you’re good to go. But if the penny only sinks up to the top of Lincoln’s head or doesn’t sink that far at all, then you need to replace your tires.

Switching to snow tires can help remedy the situation, as they’re more appropriate for the weather and the terrain and are reasonable enough. If you can’t get snow tires, then simply replacing your tires when the tread gets worn down and staying vigilant while on the road should be enough.

Change Your Oil and Coolant

Next, you want to check your oil and your coolant. If you’re a long-time car owner, then you shouldn’t need an explanation as to why changing your oil every once in a while is essential. This is necessary to keep your car running and in top condition, not just during the winter months but all year round. The next important fluid you have to take into account is your antifreeze or coolant.

During the winter and summer months, antifreeze and coolant can help keep your engine warm or cool respectively to prevent it from freezing or overheating, depending on the weather. Antifreeze becomes all the more important during the winter, as you need it to maintain the right temperature in your engine. Make sure to top up if you notice it running low and carry an extra container or two of coolant and water in your car just in case.

Winter car

Check Your Heater

With the weather outside turning cold and frightful, your car’s heater is necessary to keep you and your passengers warm and comfortable throughout the trip, whether you’re only driving for a short while, stuck in traffic, or have a little way to go. Your car’s heating system depends on your car’s cooling system, so topping up with coolant and flushing the old one out becomes all the more important.

As the weather gets chillier, get your car’s heating system checked out and ensure it’s working properly. If you notice any problems right away, have them fixed immediately.

Remove Ice and Snow From Your Windshield and Mirrors

When it begins to snow, ice and snow alike can build up over your car, especially on your windshield and your roof. Before you set out, be sure to clean your windshield and your car’s side mirrors of all ice and snow that can hinder your vision or make it hard to see just how close or how far objects are in your mirror. Don’t wait for it all to melt off on its own—wipe it all off before you start driving.

Additionally, you want to check your windshield wipers to see if they’re still functional or clean, enough at least to wipe off any traces of ice and snow and absorb moisture. You want to clean your wipers regularly and make sure that they don’t freeze over.

Bring Your Car in for Maintenance

If you’re still unsure of everything, it’s best to bring your car in for an overall maintenance check with a trusted mechanic just to be sure that it’s ready and good to do. For example, you own a Subaru car, which is subject to wear and tear caused by harsh weather conditions just like any other vehicle. To prepare your vehicle for raging snowstorms, you must set a routine Subaru maintenance schedule. A thorough maintenance check can help keep your car in tiptop shape and keep it running throughout the winter.

Final Thoughts

Proper car maintenance is a must, especially during extreme weather conditions like the winter. Always get your car checked before attempting to drive on the snowy or icy roads, and make sure that it’s capable of braving the new challenging weather.

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