Winter Car Check List
by Brian Gilman
The cold winter season is upon us again. With just a bit of attention, you can make sure that your winter driving experience will be a safe and pleasant one. Besides, doing a little regular maintenance can keep you from running into unexpected repair bills that could rip into your back pocket, and leave u high and dry for the holiday season.
Here is a short list of the most important things you should check out to keep you out of strife…
1. Check your tires and antifreeze
This is one of your best lines of safety on your car, as the cold season is no time to be cheap with tires. Please pay attention to your tread depth and check to see if your tires a damaged or leaking air. Tires tend to lose a bit of pressure in the winter months, so keeping them pumped up to the recommended pressure will keep them running at optimum and also save you on fuel costs due to less drag on the road surface.
Another all important part of your winter safety is antifreeze. No one wants to be bogged down on the side of the road, mid winter, in the snow with an overheated radiator of all things. So be sure to check your coolant level and mixture, for maximum protection, please note that this coolant must be changed every two years to keep your engine running at optimum, whilst keeping your future repairs to a minimum.
2. Inspect your brakes and check engine oil
I cannot stress enough to you the importance of having good brakes on wet or ice covered roads. Make sure your brake pads are not worn down to an unacceptable level and that your disk thickness is within the norm will keep your stopping distance to a minimum.
For hassle free driving this should be checked once a month at least depending on the climate where you live. And replacement of the oil wouldn’t be a bad idea just before the winter sets in either. Oil is your cars lifeblood, so make sure to regularly replace it and maintain levels.
3. Clean your battery posts and check spark plug cables
Starting problems are a let down at anytime of the year, but especially in winter. So giving your battery a quick cleanup especially around the terminals. This can make the difference between a quick trip home after work, or waiting for a tow truck to come and get you while you sit in your freezing car. Brrrr!
Check your spark plug cables, or if you have a diesel check your glow plugs.
Keeping a eye on this will help ensure your car will start when you want it to. For diesel replace glow plugs every 2-3 years.
4. Replace your wipers and windshield washer fluid
Wipers? Why wipers you might ask yourself? Well to start off, one of two things. First of all, Anything that falls down from the heavens will definitely be making contact with your windshield, and cleaning this is all on your wipers. Second reason is SNOW; anyone who has driven in the snow will tell you that it takes a good condition wiper to get rid of all the salt and grime that get sprayed onto your windscreen, and we all agree that visibility in the snow is of paramount importance, so stay safe.
In the winter months you’ll use a lot more washer fluid than in the summer months, mostly due to all the extra gunk on the road that comes with snow and heavy rainfall. If you get stuck behind a 18 wheel semi trailer for any length of time, you’ll find your windshield looking like u just completed the Dakar rally if you don’t have your wiper fluid topped up. Be sure to use winter washing fluid and don’t mix it with water due to low temperatures as it might freeze.
Cold weather safety should be a concern for anybody living in colder climates. These tips should give you the upper hand when the cold bites in and tries to halt your winter travels. We here at OOYYO hope that this information will prove to be helpful to you and keep your driving experience a pleasurable one this Christmas season. Till next time, we wish you safe driving!
Brian Gilman (brianlgilman) on