Winter is coming — not just the words of a character in a famous TV show, but also a meaningful statement of fact. Whatever car you’re driving, there are steps you can take to make it more ready for the harsh winter months. In this article, we’ll share some of the best ones with you from Fullerton.
1. Winter tires
This one is a bit controversial for some because it does mean an extra big expense, plus the need for a storage solution on your other tires. Hear us out. If you live in a place where the winters are both long and harsh, with snowfall and regular ice on the roads, then you really do need winter tires to maximize safety. All-season tires are good for temperate zones, but are not designed for any extreme, including winter. Consider winter tires and keep you and your family safe.
2. Check on your wipers and wiper fluid
The cold season brings a whole host of dirt, slush and other gunk that’s going to be thrown up onto your windshield by the car in front. Your wipers need to be at optimal efficacy, so consider a switch if you haven’t already in the last few weeks. What’s more, top up the wiper fluid regularly, and keep a little extra stash somewhere in your car so if you run out you can pull over somewhere and add the emergency supply.
3. Have a mechanic check your 4WD
Four-wheel drive is a great choice for anyone who lives in the Northeast, Midwest or Northwest where the winters strike hard. It gives you better traction on wintry roads, but only if it’s working properly. If your 4WD hasn’t been checked in a while, take it to the dealership mechanic for a closer look. If there’s a problem, even a small one, then it needs to be sorted quickly.
4. Optimize your water-to-antifreeze mix
You might typically put in a 50:50 mixture of anti-freeze and water, and that seems pretty logical. We say, however, that to really winterize your vehicle properly, you should probably adjust that to at least 60:40 anti-freeze to water. This mix will better protect your engine in the coldest weather.
5. Give the battery a once over
Sub-zero temperatures are going to do a real number on your car’s battery by slowing down the chemistry it takes to get the thing working in the first place. At five degrees, a fully charged lead-acid battery has only half its rated amp-hour capacity. Have the posts and connections checked for corrosion, and make sure it has enough fluid.
Follow these steps and your car will be ready for that winter road trip to Alaska! OK, that might not exactly be on the cards, but you’ll at least be ready for your local winter.