As the weather takes its wintery turn, and you find yourself reaching for that winter coat, bear in mind that the winter chill brings a lot more than just beautiful frosty wonderlands and sub-zero temperatures. The winter poses a few serious questions to your ride, but, fear not. Here at Pretty Motors, we’ve got some expert car maintenance tips to help you answer them all.
Some people dread the changing of the season. All those dark nights. All that heavy rain and those high winds. And what about the sleet and snow?
Yet every year the vast majority of us find a way to adjust to the winter chill. The same is true for your car. All it takes is a little forward planning and forethought.
So, buckle up. It’s time to winterize your car and we’ve got all the car maintenance tips you need.
Ready? Great! Let’s begin.
Car Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Ride Hot This Winter
1. It’s a Winter Wonderland – but not on your ride
The leaves are falling. The snow is gently spilling from the sky. The frost looks like something out of a Charles Dickens’ novel.
But wait. Those leaves, that snow, and all the debris that has accumulated onto your car? They all need to go. And quickly, too.
Whether you’re driving the car of your dreams or something else entirely, every few days it’s important to get rid of the chunks of winter junk that find their way into tiny crevices you never even notice. Think specifically here about the air plenum near your windshield and your sunroof, if you have one.
If you allow twigs, leaves, and other winter particulars to remain in places where water is supposed to flow out, you can bring about all kinds of nasty leaks and corrosion.
And, you certainly don’t want that.
2. Windshield Drama
With Halloween and darker nights, winter is sometimes seen as the scary season. But, trust us when we tell you, there are few things scarier than underperforming windshield wipers. They can quickly become your worst nightmare in a car.
Picture the scene. It’s late at night, you’re driving home on a desolate road and suddenly, it starts to snow. ‘How beautiful’, you say to yourself. How beautiful, indeed.
But then you turn on your windshield wipers and one of them isn’t working. Or worse still, neither one is. My friend, a nightmare is upon you.
You never want this to happen to you so always check your wipers in the build up to winter. Check that they are working perfectly and make sure that your wiper blades are up to scratch.
There’s something else to consider here too. We’ve all been driving behind a truck or car when a slew of junk has crashed up onto the windshield. Winter kicks this problem into an even higher gear so always ensure that you have a high quality, fully functioning washer fluid to wash this problem away.
3. Winter Tires
Car maintenance tips are often handed out about tires, and for good reason. Your tires are arguably the most important thing on your ride. They’re the only thing keeping you on the road and, they’re constantly battling with ice and the treacherous roads on your behalf.
If you’re happy with the tires you have, make a check on their thread depth heading into winter. Thick threads are essential for winter driving.
Consider purchasing four winter tires if you live in an area where the weather is particularly hazardous and always remember that all season tires may not have the full features that snow tires have.
4. Tire Pressure
There is a fairly significant relationship between weather temperature and tire pressure. Generally speaking, a tire loses 1 psi for every drop of 10 degrees. It’s a good idea then to check your tire pressure heading into winter and regularly throughout the season.
Deflated tires close up the thread and end up decreasing the amount of traction. In wintery weather, the last thing you want to be doing is actively helping your car into a dangerous slide. And, since most gas stations have gauges to help you check the tire pressure, this car maintenance tip is a no-brainer.
5. 4-Wheel Drive
In terms of car maintenance tips, this one is a real cinch.
You don’t use your 4WD much during the summer months, so it’s best to check that everything’s working perfectly heading into winter. A functioning system can improve tire traction on snow and ice, gives you a bit more grip and decreases your chances of getting stuck on an icy road.
6. Keep Your Gas Tank Full
Fun fact. Did you know that a near-empty gas tank during cold weather is never a good idea?
This is because cold temperature causes condensation. If that condensation forms on the walls of your gas tank and your tank isn’t full, the water can drop down into the gas and will eventually sink to the bottom. If water finds its way into the fuel lines, it will freeze up, blocking the flow of gas to the engine.
Thankfully, this is a problem that never needs to happen and you can prevent it very easily in one quick step: Always keep your gas tank full.
7. Check Your Battery
Ever had to jump start a car at 6am in the morning? It’s not a barrel of laughs, that’s for sure.
Car maintenance tips are never complete without a word on checking your battery. The cold weather decreases your battery’s capacity and it’s important to thoroughly inspect it as soon as temperatures start to slide.
8. Survival Kit
You can have all the awesome car accessories you want, but when a crisis hits, what you really need is a survival kit.
If you don’t already have one, consider acquiring one and storing it in the trunk – because you simply never know when you might need one.
Here’s a list of some essential items:
- Spare tire
- Ice Scraper
- Washer Fluid
A survival kit is so important and we hope you never need it. But if you acquire one now and the worst happens to you, at least you’ll be prepared.
Car Maintenance Tips – Preventing Problems Before They Get a Chance to Appear
Consider yourself winterized.
You now know the essential car maintenance tips to keep your car on the road in the ultimate style this winter and when the first flake falls this season, you’ll be properly prepared.
Prevention is always better than cure. Your car needs its pre-winter check. It deserves your full attention and you’re probably happy to give it.
So, let’s make sure that your ride remains hot during this winter’s chill.
It’s time to get to work.