It’s notsecret that winter driving can be tough on your car. The rain, slush, snow, and ice all affect the way your vehicle runs and performs. In order to keep your vehicle in optimal condition, you’ll want to take a few precautions before the winter hits. Remember to prepare your vehicle for winter early, once the first snowfall happens auto shops are usually fully booked, and driving without being properly outfitted with winter essentials puts you at higher risk for a collison.
1. Have A Winter Emergency Kit
This is the most important thing you can do when preparing your car for winter. Have a fully stocked emergency kit in your vehicle at all times during the winter months. Roads can be difficult to navigate, and even if you subscribe to a roadside assistance service it may take a long time for help to arrive when the weather is bad. Your box should include road flares, a flashlight, a few blankets, a first-aid kit, extra warm clothes, gloves, snacks, and a radio charged cell phone just in case you need to make a 911 call.
2. Check Your Coolant And Antifreeze
Antifreeze is the substance that keeps your engine from freezing during the winter months. Without adequate coolant and antifreeze, your car could freeze up during the winter. Luckily, a kit for checking your engine coolant PH levels is available at most auto supply stores. Using the kit will ensure that your PH levels are appropriate and that your vehicle has enough antifreeze agents to avoid freezing in the cold which could cause damage to your engine’s cooling system.
3. Change To Winter Tires
This is the most important thing you can do for your vehicle to ensure safe driving during the winter. Having winter tires allows for your vehicle to have appropriate traction on the roads, which is extremely important when conditions are icy. According to The Globe and Mail:
“While winter tires have biting edges to grip on snow and ice, the real difference is the rubber. They are made of a softer compound that is supposed to stick better to cold roads – and stay supple down to minus-40 C.” Remember that your insurance policy may not cover you for accidents or damage that occur without a properly outfitted vehicle.
4. Use Winter Windshield Wiper Fluid
Winter windshield wiper fluid helps break down ice that’s on your windshield without having to go outside and scrape. It’s not absolutely necessary for winter driving, but it saves you time if you usually park your car outdoors, and it keeps you from having to be outside in the cold for longer than necessary.
5. Switch To Winter-Grade Oil
As a general rule, the colder the weather, the thinner you want the oil in your engine to be. Oil that is thicker is more likely to freeze.Opt for a low-viscosity grade oil during the winter months.
When it comes to winter driving, it’s important to take every precaution necessary to keep safe on the road. Check with your insurance provider to make sure that your vehicle is covered, and what additions to have to make in order to keep it covered. If you’re not satisfied with your current provider, use a car insurance calculator to compare your insurance with other leading companies on the market to ensure you’re making the right choice.