Maintaining your vehicle during winter can be challenging, but since temperatures aren’t that low anymore, the possibility of your car freezing is reduced compared to previous years. However, when the weather gets chilly, it would be best to watch out for how it affects your car. For instance, fluids can become thicker, leading to difficulty starting the engine, so check the motor oil, transmission fluid and antifreeze before driving. Moreover, be wary of the tire pressure because the weather can lead to expanded and contracted air, affecting the rolling resistance.
Therefore, you must learn to maintain your car in good quality for longer to withstand more winters. This implies you either take it to a service as the season changes or learn to inspect the battery, check the tires and get enough supplies to be prepared in case your car tyre gets stuck in snow. So, here’s how to winterise your vehicle.
Scan the car for a complete diagnosis
If you can’t reach a professional or need to get somewhere and the car isn’t cooperating, you can approach diagnosing the vehicle with the right equipment in order to ensure safety on the road. Such a test tells you if the engine has problems or the transmission isn’t responsive anymore that can be managed with iCarsoft products for any car brand, from Japanese and Korean trademarks to French and Italian vehicle companies.
Diagnosis tools are required to test the car’s battery because they go in-depth with details like the voltage, internal resistance, and the starter’s condition. These aspects help manage challenges on the road and increase the car’s lifespan. Even the coolant must be inspected, but this process might require some additional techniques and knowledge to master. But you can also try different diagnostic devices like Autel for improved quality.
Replace components for better quality
You might also need to replace some of the car’s components to allow it to withstand the cold or winter conditions. First, it would be best to get winter tires, especially if it tends to snow or there are frequent precipitations in your area. Winter tires are made for this season because they ensure better traction on snow and ice by reducing side skid in turns, protecting you from accidents.
It would also be best to change the wiper blades with winter ones that prevent snow and ice from sticking to the windshield. Hence, you’ll have more visibility during snow or rain as the blades are equipped with rubber boots. Other replacements for winter include the hood lifts that might stop functioning and temperatures below freezing and the cabin air filter that leads to excessive overheating if not maintained.
Do some season cleansing
Cleaning is essential to maintain the vehicle in excellent condition, so you must do it frequently when the seasons change. To prepare for winter, clean the battery terminals since corrosion buildup might hinder the car’s starting process. You must only disconnect the negative and positive cables and clean the terminal with a special cleaning tool or a wire brush. The grease and acid residue can be wiped off with a paper towel.
Battery terminals must also be protected from future corrosion with a spray you can find at any service shop. After cleaning them, spray the terminals with a coating. It’s recommended to do this yearly, but if you live in a humid environment, it’s best to apply the coat more often to avoid moisture and salt entering the terminals.
Lubricate the car’s most sensitive parts
Lubricating the car often helps it maintain its parts in good condition and helps avoid rust. It should be done more frequently, but apply some solutions on the window tracks to prepare your vehicle for winter because freezing water can get trapped and damage the regulator cables. You can buy silicone or dry Teflon spray and use it in the front and back of the window track.
Finalise by closing and opening the window a few times to spread the lube evenly.
Other parts that need lube include the weather stripping and the mating door surfaces where water can get in, freeze and block you from entering the vehicle. This should be done by spraying the solution onto a clean rag and wiping the surfaces to avoid staining the car’s interior. Remember to lube the door locks, even if you have remote keyless entry, and don’t forget the latches and hinges with lithium grease.
Prepare for emergencies
Sometimes, you might find yourself in the middle of nowhere during winter, whether coming from a family dinner or going to far accommodation sites. In this case, you must be prepared for emergencies because you never know when the car breaks down due to the cold, or you’re in the middle of a blizzard.
Here are a few ways to ensure you’re safe and good to go. First, keep the gas tank at least half full when you’re driving somewhere because the fuller the tank is, the less likely it is for the gas line to freeze due to condensation. At least fill it up to ensure you’ve got enough gas to keep you warm for longer.
Every emergency package should include matches or anything reliable to start a fire with. A first aid kit is essential to own permanently in the car, but bring a car tool kit with you anyway. It should include jumper cables, an ice scraper, flares and some extra antifreeze. A bag of sand and a shovel will come in handy when you need to get your vehicle out of big piles of snow, but take a flashlight and some batteries in case you’re stranded in the middle of the night. Lastly, always have warm clothing and non-perishable foods and water with you.
Winterising your car isn’t complex, but you must do it well and maintain its components often to increase its lifecycle and ensure you don’t expose yourself to accidents and risky situations. Hence, check its condition and always take it to a professional if you can’t handle its problems.