The keyword for driving in cold weather is PREPARATION, and the sooner and more you do, the better and safer your driving experience. Although keeping your vehicle well maintained is crucial all year round, it is doubly so in cold weather. For example, worn out tires might still be able to hold onto summer roads, but will detract from icy surfaces easily. Your windshield may need that rock chip repair seen to. Over the past decade, winters have been unpredictable from warm sunny days to freezing fog, to snow, gales and floods – depending on which state you live in of course. The tips below will serve as checklist for you to consider before you get yourself in a pickle.
Get your vehicle serviced – getting your car serviced by a professional is highly recommended, and paying a few pounds will ensure that all aspects of your vehicle are looked at. The right time to book a vehicle service appointment is generally the beginning of October preferably earlier. Comprehensive checks whether done by a professional garage or you include checking the car battery, coolant and tires.
The RAC one of Europe’s major car breakdown and auto insurance companies claims that most calls for roadside assistance is with regards to car batteries so it is important to make sure it is fully charged especially if your vehicle has not been driven over a long period of time. If you’re going to replenish the coolant yourself, ensure you fill between the minimum and maximum markers. Simultaneously, also check if there is sufficient anti-freeze in the coolant, and if you’re not sure what the right strength is, refer to your vehicle handbook or speak to your local garage.
Although anti-freeze is cheap, not having the right strength may cause irreparable damage to your engine. When it comes to tires, analyze them for adequate thread and also for bulges, splits and the level of pressure in each one. If you live or tend to commute in particularly inclement weather, it is a good idea to invest in winter snow socks or tires, which offer better traction and control.
Check your lights, screen wash and wiper blades – dark mornings and evenings can make driving extremely dangerous for you and others. It is therefore important to ensure that all your exterior and even interior lights are in good working order. It is consider the fact that not all screen wash is the same look for the temperature it protects down to, where -10 degrees C will suffice for normal cold weather and -20 degrees C in extreme cold weather. Not using good quality screen wash could result in freezing of your water pump, which may blow your fuse and damage your wipers. Speaking of wipers, check them thoroughly for damage and replace them immediately if needed.
Fill up on gas –fill up on gas as you don’t want to be stranded in the middle of nowhere especially in cold weather. It is also important to check the oil level in your vehicle and top it up if needed.
Along with the tips above, make sure you take extra care on the roads and keep safe distance in foggy and icy conditions.