How to Take Care of Your Car During the Cold Winter Months
Like it or not, winter will soon be here. And while you may have busied yourself changing your wardrobe around and preparing your home for colder weather, there’s another part of your life that also deserves attention as the season approaches: your vehicle. Making sure your car is properly prepared for winter and regularly caring for it throughout the winter ensures better safety for you and a longer life for your car. The following precautions don’t take long to arrange, and they could be a big help come wintertime.
Be Prepared Before the Snow Falls
When it comes to owning a car that performs well during the colder months, a little preparation goes a long way. As the temperatures start to drop, take some time to perform a routine maintenance check on your car, or at least take it in to your local repair shop. Fluids such as antifreeze are very important to your car’s performance during the winter, as is a battery that’s guaranteed to make it through the winter. Any fluids that aren’t topped off or any parts under the hood that are out of place could leave you stranded on the side of the road – something you really don’t want during the winter!
Check the Tires to Prevent Accidents
Just as a functioning engine is key to your car’s survival during the winter, so is the vehicle’s tires. Dropping temperatures can dramatically affect your tires’ air pressure, so it’s worth checking them regularly and keeping them filled to levels as recommended in your car’s user manual. Air pressure isn’t the only thing you should be concerned about; the quality of the tires’ treads is just as important. Bald tires lead to worse performance that’s made worse in winter conditions, so perform the penny test to see if it’s time to invest in a new set of tires.
Keep It Clean for a Better Return on Your Investment
When considering vehicle performance and your own safety when behind the wheel, your car’s appearance shouldn’t be at the top of your concerns. Still, whether you lease or own your car, it’s still an investment, and it’s only common sense to protect the quality of your investment. While snow isn’t going to hurt your car’s paint job, salt and dirt on the roads will. So, if you notice a layer of hazy salt and dirt beginning to build up on your vehicle, take it to the car wash for a touchless water rinse. Also practice caution when clearing your car of snow – avoid using shovels that may scrape the car’s paint.
It doesn’t take a whole lot to keep your car running safely and looking good during the winter. The couple of hours or so you put into caring for your car now and throughout the season could save you much more money and trouble later on, whether it’s because of a breakdown or need for a new paint job. Keep in mind that it’ll only be a few months of added caution before you’re once again driving with the windows down!