How to prepare your vehicle for winter travel
A car is very vital in any family household. Keeping it well maintained will save you the stress and any chance of breakdown at the middle of nowhere. As winter falls begin, you need to consider checking out that your car is able to keep you safe and operates well throughout the winter season. This can be done by following the below strategies before you travel:
Check the engine coolant and antifreeze levels
Antifreeze is a cold-resistant additive which prevents your car engine from freezing at very low temperatures. It is therefore very necessary to have it checked to determine if it is in levels that can see your engine running smoothly for the entire winter season. This can be done by following your car’s manual or simply buy coolant kits from your local auto supply store.
Check the tire pressure and tread depth
You need to replace your tires if they are worn out. Snowy roads are very dangerous and having tires with poor treads and pressure, can really be a nightmare in a winter season. You can always check your tire pressure at the gas station. Remember to consider the tire pressure levels based on the recommendations in your manual.
The tread test
One of the commonly used tests is the “Lincoln Test”. You can simply insert a penny with the top of Lincoln’s head pointing inwards into the tire’s thread. If the head is not completely inserted into your thread, then consider installing new tires or winter tires before the onset of the winter season. Do not forget to carry extra tires, car jack and a tow rope in case of emergencies.
Switch to winter windshield wiper fluid
Ordinary windshield fluids tend to freeze as quickly as it comes into contact with your windshield. It is very necessary to consider using a winter windshield wiper fluid. This fluid is made just for the winter weather and helps to loosen ice and snow from the windshield to keep it clear as you drive your car.
Change your engine oil
In cold weather, you are highly advised to have your engine oil switched to oil with lower cold weather viscosity grade. This is checked in viscosity levels. In this case, the viscosity levels can be checked by looking at the first number in the oil specification. Higher numbers in oil specification are highly recommended for the summer season; therefore, go for lower number since the lower it is the better the viscosity, the better for your engine in winter weather.
The special “winter emergency box kit’
This is one of the most important checklists you need to consider having in your car before you travel in the winter season. They include road flares, a flashlight, a few blankets, a first-aid kit, a change of warm clothes, an extra pairs of warm gloves, a radio, a well-charged cell phone for emergencies, an extra ice scraper, a bag of sand, and energy snacks. These will become handy in case of emergencies.
The above tips on how to prepare your car for winter before you travel will not only go beyond keeping your car running well but also keep your family safe. It will also becomes handy in ensuring that you are ahead of time and plan for the onset of the winter season.