Proper maintenance of your car is very important when it comes to safe winter driving. The adverse conditions and the extra stress that extreme temperatures will cause can really test your car during the winter and may cause it to fail if you are not prepared. The most common problem is usually just the inconvenience of not being able to start it during cold weather but sometimes an unmaintained car will fail at an inopportune time putting the driver and passengers in danger. Here we’ll look at some common ways that you can maintain your car and what to look for during a checkup.
While the best and most practical option is going to be to take it to a mechanic there are some things you may be able to check and maintain yourself and at the very least you can put together a winter emergency kit for your car.
Check the battery to make sure that it is in good working condition. If it is weak or damaged now is the time to change it. A dead battery can quickly turn from an inconvenience to danger during cold temperatures. Additionally check the ignition system for damaged wires or cracks in the distributor cap. Lastly, make sure that all of your lights are in working order. Check your headlights, side lights, emergency flashers, directional lights, tail lights, brake lights, and parking lights to make sure they are all properly functioning.
One of the most important parts of car maintenance for winter driving is your tires. Keeping good tires goes a long ways to securing your safety and now is the time to change your tires if you are expecting a lot of snow. If your area only experiences light snowfall you can safely use all-season radial tires. However, if you are going to be dealing with heavy snow it’s best to use snow tires or at least keep chains handy. Important to note is that you should never mix radial tires with a different type. Regularly check your tire pressure, tire balance, and alignment.
Winter Emergency Kit
Another important part of being prepared is keeping items in your car that you might need during an emergency. Here is a brief list of some items to consider to stay safe if you are stranded or in an accident in cold weather.