It’s no joke. Annually, over 800 Americans perish in winter car accidents. Worse, about a thousand more die each year due to icy and snowy pavements. All these points to one thing. The cold and cars don’t mix.
A closer look will tell you the reasons vary. There are tons of driving complications in winter times, from snow piles on the road to poor visibility. Indeed, slick roads are truly hard to navigate. Add fog and rain and you know driving in cold conditions is no walk in the park. To make matters worse, a poorly-maintained car is tantamount to putting yourself in harm’s way.
The state of your car does matter in winter. It’s like a litmus test. If you haven’t taken good care of your ride, the winter is going to bring punishment to you. Think of pushing it in the middle of nowhere it won’t start — or worse. The good news is, car care isn’t as hard as it may sound. You just have to be conscientious about it. Add a handful of tried-and-tested methods, and you should be on your way in no time.
Regular battery check
Battery-related causes are known to be the leading cause of car breakdown during winter. It’s for this reason, you can’t afford to neglect your battery. Doing a regular battery check is a must.
A little refresher on the nature of batteries should bid you well. When you start your car and drive, the batteries charge. This means that when you don’t drive the car, the battery loses charge. Unfortunately, winter is that time of the year we drive less often.
The cold weather of course is another contributing factor. Cold causes the battery to lose its charge as well. They wreak havoc as the cold condition slows the chemical reaction within.
What can be done? A simple routine should do the trick: Charge your battery every morning. All you need to do is start your car for a few minutes after waking up. This would prevent the battery from losing charge. Of course, if the battery is completely dead then you would have to replace it — and fast.
If not, you could be finding yourself face-to-face with an immovable car on a snow-covered road all alone. Indeed, you could be in a lot of trouble when your car battery dies on you. Then, you may have to call roadside assistance, assuming your mobile phone works.
Clean the windows
Another important part is cleaning your windows. During winter, you would have chunks of ice on your windows. Instead of using wipers, use an icescraper. Moreover, raise your wipers at night. This way, don’t have to deal with them being stuck to the windshield when you wake up.
Moreover, chances are there are dirt and mud on the road during winter. And this could get splattered on your windows when you drive. Driving with dirty windows is risky. It could lead to untoward accidents. The way to go about it is to clean your windows every time before you leave. And that means every single window in your car.
Moreover, if you haven’t put a film on your car windows, you should. For one, a car window tint insulates your car better from the cold. By keeping more of the heat inside, you stay warm so you won’t have to shiver while on the road.
Secondly, auto tinting minimizes the strong glare from all the snow and other car’s headlights. This allows you to drive safer even when the roads act up.
Get new wiper blades
You would definitely need new wiper blades during winter. Unlike summer, there are way too many things that could drop on your windscreen, thanks to the weather. Needless to say, you need dependable wiper blades that would help keep the screen clean while you drive.
Don’t be too overconfident though. If you think your wiper blade is secure. To boot, the service life of a wiper blade is around 6 months. So if you haven’t changed your wiper blades in 6 months, chances are you’re actually driving on borrowed time. Make sure you check it this winter.
Invest in winter tires
Tires are also a great investment this winter. During winter the roads are slippery. And when your tires are worn-out, driving on slippery roads can be an uphill climb. Know that bald tires are a major cause of accidents during winter. So if it has been on your mind for some time now, then the winter is the best time to get it done.
It’s important that you do it right, though. Get the right tires; get winter tires. These tires have been specially designed for the season. The design comes with gaps and groves that help increase traction and allow you to ride through snow and ice better. The bottom line, you will have a smooth ride.
Check oil level
To get your car functioning properly, checking the oil level is very important. In fact, this is one pivotal car care for all seasons. To note, the cold weather affects the state of the oil. A substandard oil solidifies in the oil tank. When this happens it poses a problem as the engine can’t function as it should.
It’s paramount you check the oil type you are using. A multi-viscosity type of oil should do wonders. The viscosity index is usually indicated as “W”.
For anyone, surviving the winter unscathed is where the rubber meets the road. It’s why keeping your car in tip-top shape matters. Keeping you and the whole family out of harm’s way this winter is a top priority, at home and especially on the road.