The season of sweaters, snowfall and hot chocolate is almost upon us, which means it’s time to prepare for the cold weather. Just like you stock up on gloves, boots and warm clothes, your car needs its own preparations. Neglecting your vehicle during this time could lead to costly repair bills or worse- an unexpected breakdown that leaves you stranded. In the cold, follow these guidelines below to ensure you have a safe winter this year.
Use the Right Fluids
Keep your car running smoothly in the cold by checking the fluid levels. The mix of antifreeze and water should be a 50:50ratio. Purchase an antifreeze tester or a pre-mixed bottle of antifreeze at a gas station or auto parts store to ensure your engine won’t freeze. Oil is another fluid to check on during the seasonal transition. Typically oil gets thicker as the temperatures drop, but thinner oil flows better to the vital parts of the engine. Refer to your owner’s manual to see what type of oil is best for your car during colder months.
Winterize Your Wipers and Tires
By installing the proper equipment, you can help reduce the amount of stress on your car during this season. Wipers that leave streaks or marks on your windshield reduce road visibility, so go to your local auto parts shop to purchase winter-specific wiper blades made to handle heavy snow and ice. Also, don’t forget about your tires! Snow tires are made with a softer rubber to help retain flexibility and a more efficient tread pattern that firmly grasps snow and ice. Make sure your spare snow tire is inflated as well.
Pack an Emergency Kit
In situations where snow controls the road and cars are forced in a gridlock or you breakdown on the side of the road, it’s essential to have an emergency kit at hand. Equip your car with a box with a flashlight, matches, blankets, water bottles, gloves, an ice scraper, salt and roadmaps. This will ensure that you stay safe, hydrated and warm if an emergency occurs.
Check Vital Car Functions
Don’t overlook the simple checks you need to perform on your car. Have someone walk around your car while you test your headlights, high beams, blinkers and hazard lights to confirm they’re all working. Check your brakes to see if they are functioning properly and the brake pads to make sure they aren’t too worn down. Knowing the condition of your heating and cooling system is important, so take it in to an auto shop so they can spot any rust or leaks. Lastly, check your battery. The engine requires more current from the battery in order to start when it’s in colder climates, so have a mechanic run a battery test to see if it is efficient enough.
Get Extended Warranty Coverage
By getting extended warranty coverage from Warranty Direct, you’re guaranteeing the damages and malfunctions that happen to your vehicle will be covered. As the leading company in direct-to-consumer auto extended warranties, we provide 24/7 roadside assistance, car rental reimbursement and several more customer-friendly features. Get a free quote today and give yourself peace of mind so you can stay focused on the snowy road ahead.
The bitter cold of winter can take a toll on our cars. Check your vehicle’s functions and abilities before the icy season hits so you won’t get stuck with outrageous repair costs or sudden breakdowns. Winter will be here before you know it, so take precautions and be safe this chilly season.