It is important to prepare your car for winter before the season officially begins. If you drive in areas where snowstorms are common, then you need to prepare you car for handling those driving challenges as soon as possible. A good rule of thumb is to have your vehicle ready for the worst type of wintertime weather. Listed below are ways you can prepare your car for the upcoming winter season.
You need to see clearly while driving, but that can be harder to do during the winter season. Snow, sleet, rain, and slush can quickly accumulate while you are driving. If you park outside, frost could obscure some of the view during your morning commute if you do not defrost your vehicle.
It is beneficial to mount new wiper blades for winter travel. New wiper blades will help clear your windscreen of any obstructions. New and functioning wiper blades will help keep all precipitation and frost off of the windshield and out of your view while driving.
It helps to replace your windshield wiper fluid so that it does not freeze up as well. Freeze-resistant wiper fluid is critical for wintertime. If you have to drive while it is cold, you need to get rid of any frost or ice that accumulated on the windshield overnight.
Your engine needs protection against the upcoming freezing weather. The radiator and engine core circulate coolant that could freeze up if it gets cold enough and if you did not replace the old antifreeze. Your mechanic can flush and fill the radiator with new coolant that gives your engine very good protection against overnight freezes.
Your mechanic will check the belts and hoses to make sure they are not cracking or showing signs of dry rot. The mechanic can also install a hotter thermostat that lets the engine heat up a bit more in the colder weather. Doing this can help melt frost and ice that might have accumulated on your windshield.
Cold weather means the engine will not run quite as hot during the winter months. It is a good time to change to a lower viscosity oil that will not make it harder for your engine to turn over on cold mornings. The starter motor can struggle to get the engine turning when the weather is cold and the oil is thick.
A change of the oil and oil filter can ensure you get good starts on cold mornings. You also should have the fuel filter checked and changed as needed to ensure there is a good flow of fuel to the engine. Checking and changing the engine air filter and the cabin air filter can ensure there is clean air for the engine.
Winter is hard on your car’s tires. You need to make sure you have good tread and properly inflated tires to obtain the best traction. If you anticipate driving in snowy conditions, it can help to mount snow tires on your vehicle. Snow tires have a narrower and more aggressive tread that give your car better traction when driving through slush or snow. Snow tires are taller than all-season tires, which gives you more ground clearance. That ground clearance makes it possible to drive through deeper snow.
A technician can check the battery to see if it is taking a full charge or if it is growing weaker. The alternator also needs to produce a good supply of electricity that powers the electrical system and lights. If the alternator is weak, the battery will not get a full charge and could fail.
When the outdoor temperature drops to below freezing, a lot of car batteries die. That is because a car battery discharges twice the amount of stored electricity for every 25 degree change in ambient temperature.
Driving during the winter means traveling after dark more often. Your car needs to have good headlights and taillights to ensure you can see well and so that other drivers can see you. If you have a light out, you need to fix it right away. The same goes for any turn signals.
Since wintertime travel can be more dangerous, it is important to make sure other drivers can see you while driving. Your car’s taillights prevent rear-end car accidents, so make sure these are properly working as well.
An emergency kit is critical to have in your car during the winter. You should include water, food, one or more blankets, and road flares. The food and water will help you if you get stuck while traveling, and the blanket will help keep you warm if you are stranded. Road flares are important because they can warn other drivers that you are stranded.
It is important to prepare your car for winter, but not all drivers will take safety precautions. If you have been injured in a winter-related collision, our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. can help. Call us at 302-656-5445 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.