Avoid Car Freeze With This 5-Step Winter Car Maintenance Checklist
Harsh weather conditions can take a toll on your vehicle. Keep your car in peak condition for the season with these expert-approved tips.
Although the chilly winter weather is often an excuse to stay in, December is the perfect month to step out of your comfort zone. After all, snow-filled landscapes are just too mesmerizing to remain unseen.
However, driving on icy roads presents a bigger challenge than average: according to the Federal Highway Administration, 24% of all weather-related car crashes occur on slushy, icy, or snowy pavements every year. Did you know that many of these accidents are due to lack of winter vehicle maintenance?
Harsher weather conditions are sure to take a toll on the state of your car, so it’s important you make sure everything is in peak condition before heading out. Luckily, Auto TechGuard knows best.
If you needed a winter car maintenance checklist, these are some of the most important tips to keep in mind for your drives:
1- Have a Pre-Winter Car Maintenance
Start by assessing the status of your vehicle. For this specific season, you should be looking out for:
- Battery: Your car uses more power to start in freezing weather. A battery at or above 600 CCA is ideal for optimal winter performance.
- Cooling System: Maintaining a ratio between 50/50 and 70/30 of antifreeze fluid to water is recommended.
- Brakes: It takes up to 10 times longer to stop when driving on snowy roads and almost all drivers have had encounters with black ice. Having faulty brakes in these circumstances could be catastrophic.
2- Switch to Winter Tires
Your year-round tires work fine for winter, but they certainly aren’t your best choice. Just like you change your shoes to avoid slipping, your ride needs a different set of tires for the season so you can go places with confidence. They are meant to maintain pressure and provide improved traction.
3- Check your Defroster and Climate Control System
These are probably some of the most important features of your car for this cold time: the climate control system helps to keep the vehicle warm and prevents foggy windows, while the defroster melts the frost, ice and snow from them. Have them up and running to stay safe.
4- Don’t Lose Track of Important Fluids
Meaning motor oil, gas and windshield washer. Motor oil has a tendency to thicken up when it’s cold outside, which further damages your engine. On the other hand, a full gas tank and windshield washer reservoir are key to avoid being stranded in the middle of a snowstorm.
5- Pack a Winter Survival Kit
This isn’t a car maintenance tip, but it sure is something that will have you fully prepared for the season. In case an accident does happen, having a survival kit in your vehicle can save your life if you’re planning on taking rural roads with heavy snowfall. Any good winter survival kit must have:
- Thermal blanket
- First-aid kit
- Multi-tool that includes a knife
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Jumper cables
- Cell Phone charger and extra battery
- Sand or cat litter
- Ice scraper
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