Winter’s here, and that means your ride needs to revamped to handle the ice, snow, and sleet on roads. A vehicle winter-ready list, for instance, will ensure that your car can withstand the harsh weather, thereby enabling you to drive smoothly and seamlessly as if it were summer.
Thus, winter won’t be something to detest since it does not mean you’ll be stuck indoors for hours unending without taking a therapeutic ride. So, how do you begin? Use the vehicle winter-ready and car maintenance checklist outlined below, and try these tips to ensure that your ride is ready for the weather.
Vehicle Winter-Ready and Car Maintenance Checklist
To protect your car, use this vehicle winter-ready list to help ensure a smooth along rough surfaces. Do the following below.
1. Check Your Windshield Wipers and Lights
The ability to see clearly as you drive through the snow is important, which is why you should check your windshield wipers if they are working properly. It’s even better if you replace the windshield wipers with winter blades that can help to wipe off the snow and ice that will be on the windshield.
Much more, a windshield washer tank with deicing fluid will remove the ice build-up and save you the extra time of waiting for it to defreeze. On the other hand, you also need to inspect your headlights and tail lights if they are working properly since it will provide good illumination when you’re out late.
You need to see the snow or ice clearly to maneuver through it, and if the lights are yellow or dim, clean the lenses or replace the bulbs entirely.
2. Protect Your Car’s Exterior
Did you know that you can winterize your vehicle’s exterior? It involves washing and waxing the car’s exterior to prepare it for winter. But here’s what it looks like:
It’s no surprise if you still have last season’s buildup on your car. That may be the case, but taking the step to scrub this build-up away can be useful.
Once that is in place, you can proceed to apply quality wax on the car to give it maximum protection against the impact of snow and road salt.
3. Maintain Your Car’s Battery
If you’re using the same battery from summer, the season’s heat could have affected the quality of the battery thereby causing it to be weak. This weakness is evident in the car’s inability to start on a very cold morning since the battery it totally drained.
On the other hand, you can ascertain the current state of your battery by performing a battery and charging system test. It will enable you to know if you need to purchase and replace the existing battery with a new one as a defense against the cold weather.
Nonetheless, a new battery may not guarantee that your car is safe proof for winter if you live in extremely cold areas. As such, the battery may have to be paired with a maintainer or trickle charger. Another thing you can try is to disconnect the battery from the car in a bid to prevent unnecessary power drainage.
4. Change Your Car’s Oil
Cars can either use synthetic or conventional oil, and synthetic oil has shown to offer several benefits over the latter especially in cold temperatures. For instance, synthetic oil warms up faster in comparison to conventional oil, and it also tends to flow freer at low temperatures.
As a result, the engine’s moving parts are protected immediately once the car is started. Cold weather starts are also easier when the car is running on synthetic oil.
That being the case, a winter vehicle maintenance you should also try is to change your car’s oil. In this case, use a full-synthetic oil that is appropriate for your car instead of relying on conventional oil it may currently have.
5. Examine Your Tires
A new set of snow tires for the winter is one more thing you should consider. But first, inspect your tires and if the treads don’t have enough depth, then you need a new pair.
The aim is to get as much traction as possible to enable the tires to handle the treacherous roadway conditions. Over and above that, it is expected that every 10-degree drop in air pressure could cause a decrease in tire pressure by one pound.
Hence, you also need to check the inflation of your tires, since an under-inflated tire can reduce handling and traction. It could also affect your vehicle’s fuel economy, asides from the obvious fact that the tires will tend to wear down faster.
6. Inspect Your Fuel Injectors
Clean fuel injectors can also make your ride powerful this winter. It all boils down to the fact that cold temperatures can cause performance issues to a vehicle’s fuel system. Some of these problems may be evident in hard starts and rough idling. The same can be said about the presence of water in the fuel system since it can spring up several issues.
This, therefore, brings about the need to maintain clean injectors, by employing a fuel injector cleaner. A cleaner of this nature will help with the restoration of lost power and prevent several performance issues from arising. All you have to do is add the fuel injector cleaner to the gas tank as you fill-up.
7. Check Your Antifreeze
An engine’s cooling system has a liquid that is made up of a blend of water and antifreeze. Antifreeze is an important winter chemical and it could contain ethylene glycol or propylene glycol. These chemical compounds in the antifreeze help to prevent freezing and expansion of water.
That being the case, you need to measure your car’s antifreeze strength using an antifreeze tester or let a mechanic do it on your behalf. The aim of the test is to determine the lowest ambient temperature of protection that is offered to the engine from freezing.
8. Inspect Your Car’s Thermostat and Radiator Cap
The thermostat and radiator cap are useful in the car’s heating and cooling system. The thermostat helps to provide the heat needed to the car, and if it fails, it can be attributed to the fact that the corrosion has occurred or the coolant has not been changed frequently.
On the other hand, the radiator helps to keep the antifreeze in your vehicle in place. It also ensures that the entire cooling system is pressurized, thereby increasing the boiling point of the coolant.
What’s more, it is important to check the radiator cap for any leakage signs or replace the cap with a new one if its been years already since you’ve used it. The reason is, a leaking radiator cap can lead to an overheating of the engine and leakage of antifreeze.
The Bottom Line
The vehicle winter-ready list is for car enthusiasts who want to maintain the full functionality of their ride and ensure that the cold does not impact on it. If that’s what you want, then employ these tips for a good winter-weather driving as if it were summer.
The requirements on this list are quite easy to implement, and you can also employ the services of a professional to ensure you get them all right. Now, you can drive seamlessly without the fear that your vehicle could potentially break down this winter.