Winter time is coming upon us, as the leaves continue to fall and heavy Northern winds bring the cold weather. It is the time of year where holidays are around the corner, and families are busy planning and shopping for one another. It is also that time of the year where the cold begins to take a toll on each of our vehicles.
It is extremely important at this point in the season to keep our vehicles in mind and remember that “winterizing” takes into account many different factors of our vehicle’s anatomy. In this two-part blog series, we will discuss some useful tips for ensuring your car’s long lasting life while also avoiding unlucky events such as waiting on the side of the highway for a tow truck in the snow.
First and foremost, if you live in an area where snow is common during the winter season, it is always a smart idea to get new tires before the snowfall begins. Many people fail to notice their lack of tread before they get a new inspection and are told they are required to get new tires. For example, if your next inspection is due in February of next year, you will not have found out that you have dangerously low tread until after driving in the snow during the month of January. We recommended that you purchase winter tires/snow tires rather than all season tires. Winter tires have special compounds and tread that allow tires to stay soft and grip the snow easier. If you’re in locations with heavy snow all year round, it’s recommended to purchase studded tires. They will allow the car to have additional grip in the snow, but have very high road noise when driven on pavement. In addition, it is advisable that you regularly check your tire pressure, which often decreases due to cold temperatures.
Another common winterizing to-do is replacing your windshield wipers. During the winter, salt is often deposited on icy roads to prevent accidents, so when you’re in traffic, salt is constantly being spattered at your windshield by the car in front of you. In a situation where visibility is minimal, such as a rainstorm or snowstorm, your wipers will be put to the test, and with the addition of salt coating your windshield, visibility is further diminished due to the salt’s residual thin white film.
Lastly, it is important to consider the type of windshield wiper fluid that you use in the colder temperatures. During the winter season, wiper fluid is known to freeze at very low temperatures, which leaves you helpless to get rid of the grimy salt buildup on your windshield. For this same reason, we also heavily advise against using or adding water to your windshield fluid reservoir tank. To avoid this problem, your best approach would be to purchase new windshield wiper fluid, specifically one that includes an antifreeze solution.
Stay tuned for part two of our vehicle winterizing tips, where we will be addressing additional winter vehicle preparation to-dos, regarding the battery, oil, and coolant, as well as must-haves for a winter emergency kit.