Winter can be a dangerous time for even the best drivers.
It’s hard enough dealing with freezing temperatures, inconvenient snowfall, and icy roads. But many drivers forget that their vehicles need extra TLC during the winter months too. Without proper maintenance, your vehicle could sustain long term damage or, even worse, be ill-equipped for the treacherous roads you drive it on. I don’t take these kinds of chances with my vehicle, and neither should you.
Fortunately, you don’t need a mechanic to keep you and your vehicle safe. Here are 5 simple maintenance tips to help you brave anything winter throws at you:
- Make sure your tires are ready for winter
When you’re driving on slippery roads, your tires need to work extra hard. A worn-out set of tires will have a hard time finding traction, which means you run a higher risk of losing control on the road. This is dangerous for the other drivers around you as well, so don’t sleep on checking your tire tread.
Snow tires are a huge help here, especially if you live in an area prone to harsh winters. But if you don’t want to spring for those, at least make sure your tires are in good condition. If you’re in doubt, your dealership will be happy to give you helpful advice on your tires.
- Check your tire pressure
Even if you bought a brand new set of tires for the winter, you should still check the air in them once the temperature drops. Tires are prone to losing air for every 10 degrees the temperature changes, and what is winter if not weeks of unpredictable weather? Seize any moment you can to make sure your tires have the recommended amount of air in them.
- Check your windshield wipers and headlights
It’s easy to take windshield wipers and headlights for granted. We use them so frequently that we forget that they get worn out or damaged too. And trust me, when you’re driving through snow, your windshield wipers and headlights are essential for maintaining visibility.
If your windshield wipers are exhibiting any weird behavior, or it’s been over a year since you installed them, consider getting some replacements.
- Carry emergency supplies
As the saying goes, “hope for the best but prepare for the worst.” We can take precautions to prevent accidents on the road, but emergencies can happen to anyone. If that moment ever comes, you’ll be happy to be properly prepared.
For the winter, I recommend keeping at least bottles of water and a warm blanket in your vehicle to keep you safe until help arrives. A first aid kit is also essential, whether it’s winter or the middle of summer. And if you really want to prepare for the worst, consider buying a rescue escape tool to help you get out of your vehicle in a life-or-death situation. Regardless of how much you want to keep in your car, any preparation is better than no preparation at all.
- Wash your vehicle
Snowy roads are treated with salt to improve traction, but you’ll be kicking up all that salt into the underside of your vehicle when you drive on it. If left unchecked, this salt can eat away at your vehicle and cause rust. This can take years off your car’s total lifespan, or even thousands of dollars off its resale value. No one wants a rusty vehicle, and you shouldn’t either. By regularly washing your vehicle during the winter, you can skirt this issue entirely.
If you’d like to know more about optimizing your vehicle for winter, give me a call or send me a message. Everyone’s vehicle is different, and I want to give you the best advice tailored to your situation so that your vehicle runs well for years to come.