Winter will soon be here, and with it comes a ton of severe weather, which can be both dangerous and frightening for drivers. Winter storms, bad weather, and horrific road conditions can lead to unexpected collisions, and spin-outs and drivers need to know what they can do to avoid disaster. It pays to be prepared, and so we are offering some driving tips to help you survive the horrible winter weather.
Get Your Car Serviced if Needed
When you break down in the summer, it can be no big deal. After all, the night is warm, and the stars are out. It’s not so much when you break down in the harsh cold of winter. Winter is usually the time where you get things like bad hoses, belts, water pumps, and spark plug wires, which can leave you stranded if they happen to fail. Before the winter weather hits, it’s a good idea to have them fixed if needed. After all, this is a better option than waiting in a frozen car for AAA. Also, if you don’t get them replaced, you may have to spend more money later. You also might want to get your tire pressure checked as tire pressure tends to drop in cold temperatures.
Check Your Battery
Before the winter weather hits, you should have your mechanic check your battery, charging system, and belts. Your battery can leave you stranded if it’s old or if the charging system isn’t working correctly. If you need a new battery, it’s good to get the biggest and badest battery that will fit in your vehicle as the battery that is good for your car in the summer might not translate to the winter. During the winter, your vehicle can take a while to start due to the oil not flowing as fluidly. Additionally, says Rochester Hills Chrysler Jeep batteries tend to lose power as the temperature gets lower, meaning you will need more power to start your engine in the winter.
Keep Your Gas Tank Full
In the summer, it’s easy to run your gas tank down to the fumes. In the winter, if you get stranded, your engine might be the only source of heat, so you might need to idle the engine for a while to stay warm. If your car tends to be on the older side, we suggest you crack the engine open a tad if you’re going to be idling the engine. Older cars tend to have more exhaust leaks and rusty holes. It might not be a big problem during your driving, but if you’re sitting in an idling vehicle for a long time, carbon monoxide can leak into the passenger’s side, which is not good.
Make Sure Your Washer Fluid is Full
On a particularly snowy day, you can go through a gallon or more of washer fluid, trying to keep your windshield clear. Because of this, it’s a good idea to keep some extra fluid in the trunk of your car just in case. Make sure that you get good stuff and stay away from cheaper brands as some fluids tend to freeze as it gets closer to zero degrees. Even if you go with the good stuff, if you live in a particularly cold area, you might need to supplement your washer fluid with some concentrate.
Overall, if you can avoid going out in the middle of a snowstorm, do it! But if it’s unavoidable, then hopefully these tips help you in all of your winter driving endeavors.