As temperatures around the country begin to drop, you should be preparing your car for winter conditions. This includes checking your car’s tires, battery, heating system, and making sure you are prepared for snow or ice. No one enjoys being stuck in the snow or cold, but all too often winter victimizes drivers for not being prepared. This blog will discuss five winter car preparations you should do today.
Winter weather exposes your car to low temperatures, which often prompts tire pressure to drop. In fact, according to Goodyear, for every 10 degrees that the temperature drops, your tire pressure drops about 1-2 pounds of pressure. It may not seem like much, but if your tire is already underinflated prior to temperatures dropping, then the weather can certainly make things worse.
Since certain parts of the country will see colder weather sooner and more frequently than others, it is important to check your tires early and often. Anyone in an area that is seeing low temperatures already should check their tire pressure.
If you are unsure of your car’s tire pressure or you would like to check it yourself, then you need two basic tools. One is a tire pressure gauge that can be found at most auto parts stores and comes in handy for accurate readings. Another tool you can purchase is a tire inflator, which does exactly what it’s name implies. Both make a great present for the holiday season as well.
What is more annoying than waking up and seeing frost on your car as you are about to leave your home? Well, the heating system breaking down, of course. As someone who has had this scenario happen to them, I do not recommend it.
In order to avoid a potential breakdown or malfunction of your car’s heating system, you should get it checked by a mechanic. A small crack or motor issue could cause your car to not heat up and defrost windows. On top of that you’d be stuck in a metal box with no heat but your own.
So if that sounds like something you would like to avoid, have your systems checked. If you feel like getting your systems checked sounds like a hassle, make it a part of your next oil change or other car maintenance appointment. It never hurts you to check up on vital car parts.
Similarly to your car’s tire pressure, winter weather affects your car’s battery life as well. According to NAPA Auto Parts, at 32 degrees Fahrenheit your car’s battery loses about 35% of its strength. And at 0 degrees Fahrenheit, your battery can lose up to 65% of its strength.
Again, if you live in an area where the temperatures reach either of those levels, you should consider getting your battery checked today. Several places offer free battery tests which give you a good idea of where your battery stands.
If you are unsure about your battery life consider this bit of information: a typical car battery lasts about 3-5 years. So, if you believe your car’s battery is nearing that 3-5 year point, at the very least have someone check it.
Playing off a previous scenario, what happens when your heating system works, but you did not give yourself enough time to start it? Well, it would be handy to have tools such as an ice scraper to remove frost build up from your car.
For those looking to stop frost from building up or snow from piling onto your car, consider buying a car cover. You can use a car cover to keep snow and ice from building up and when you want to drive, simply take the cover off.
Outside of an ice scraper and car cover there are other tools or garments that come in handy during winter. Since we know it’s colder in winter, keeping an extra pair of socks, gloves, or winter hats can be a life saver.
Assistance On The Road
In the event that your battery dies or your car breaks down for any reason, it helps to have help. In other words, when you have a roadside assistance policy it gives you peace of mind knowing a breakdown will not mean you are stranded. Most roadside policies are reasonably priced and may be added to your existing policy.