Tips For Getting Your Vehicle Ready For Winter.
The latest and useful information in preparation and prolong usage of your vehicle in winter weather conditions.
Winter, some like it and many do not. Winter brings forth a lot of snow and cold weather but also poses challenges for your vehicle apart from difficult terrain situations. Here is some useful information for winterizing your vehicle for the long road of winter ahead.
Changing your tires.
Changing your tires is likely the barest minimum requirement to preparing any automobile for winter weather. Winter tires, unlike all-season and summer, provide a different compound of rubber that uniquely provides better traction in colder weather conditions. The tires are designed with a single-directional tread pattern that pushes away snow and ice. However, winter tires wear easier in warmer weather conditions as the rubber compound is softer. Michelin recommends you install your winter tires when the average seasonal temperature is 7°C (44°F). Also, make sure to check pressures regularly if you do not have tire pressure monitoring systems. Colder temperatures can have an impact on your tire pressure and driving on low-pressure tires can add unnecessary fuel consumption.
Test your battery.
Cold weather is notorious for having an impact on your vehicle's battery. A fully charged battery can lose upwards of 35% of its charge according to numerous sources. It is important to test your battery's charge percentage and charge it with an external charger if necessary. The typical lifespan of a battery in Canada is five years. As batteries age, their ability to withhold a charge degrades dramatically. If your battery is older than five years, consider replacing it with a new one. No one likes to be stranded on the side of the road when it is freezing outside.
Check and if necessary, change your oil.
To ensure proper lubrication of your vehicle's engine, check your engine oil regularly if you reside in an area with severe winter weather conditions. Older vehicles tend to burn some oil and colder weather causes oil to become thickened. Using a thinner grade of engine oil may assist in preventing this or by plugging in your block heater if you have one.
Restock your emergency kit.
If you do not have one already, I recommend you purchase one. Walmart and other retail stores that sell automotive safety kits can prove to be handy in the event of a roadside emergency. Most kits purchased today also provide a one-year subscription to a road assistance program without any additional charges. If your vehicle does happen to become stuck or break down in an area that is not easily accessible, having jumper cables, water, a wool blanket and other emergency supplies may prove useful for prolonged periods. It also doesn't hurt to keep a tool kit and shovel for situations that may require them.
Check your lights.
A proper functioning light system is necessary for the overall safety of your vehicle and its occupants during the winter months. Snowfall and white-out conditions can increasingly reduce visibility and make it difficult to see what is ahead of you and for drivers behind you. Especially at night. Ensuring that your headlights, taillights, and even turn signals operate without issues is important to ensure safe driving during the winter season.
When you begin preparing yourself for the winter months ahead, it is ideal that you give the necessary attention to your vehicle to ensure proper and safe function without issue or delay. The tips above serve as a basic checklist to guide you in winterizing your vehicle. However, this should not serve as a substitute or alternative to other factors your vehicle may require to prepare it for subsequent use in winter driving conditions.