Your car goes through a lot during winter. The harsh weather and road conditions can make driving quite hazardous. You need to prepare it for optimum performance while driving throughout winter by performing vital checks and protecting every sensitive part from the winter weather.

Ensuring Optimum Condition of Vehicle Vital Components

Even if your visit to the mechanic is routine, it is a great idea to understand how your car works in winter to avoid any surprises. Ensure your vehicle brakes, heater, rear window defroster, windshield wipers, and all lighting are in correct working order. Doing this assures you of good visibility, satisfactory cabin temperature, and the ability to get help on time if you encounter a breakdown.

Your vehicle requires clean recommended fluids for it to work optimally. Your engine coolant must never run on water, but the manufacturer’s recommended antifreeze. These are usually premixed and use an antifreeze refractometer if you are unsure of the age, amount, and coolant strength of the coolant in your radiator. Most modern engines use multi-weight oils suitable for a wide range of temperatures. However, it is good practice to check your owner’s manual to determine whether you require an oil change before the freezing winter temperature drop.

Check your transmission fluid for condition and level, and if oil is low or condition is not good, endeavor to top up or replace the fluid. Ensure your battery is in good condition and has enough power to start your engine during cold temperatures. Inspect your battery. Inspect all rubber hoses and drive belts and ensure they are not worn, soft, or brittle but firm and pliable.

Winterizing your Car

The exterior of your vehicle especially requires care to prevent rust, improve visibility and assure drivability. Before winter, wash and wax the body to ensure your paint repels road debris and road salts that could cause rust.

Ensure you flush the underside of the vehicle thoroughly. Inspect windshield wipers for wear and cracks and replace if worn. Switch to winter tires for better traction (particularly in areas prone to ice and snow). Ensure proper tire pressure to account for the colder temperatures.

Ensure you compile an emergency kit that comprises battery jumper cables, flashlight with batteries, first aid kit, blankets, phone charger, bottled water, car tool kit, tire pump, pressure gauge, and some road flares.

Install rubber floor mats to prevent soiling and wetting of your carpets. Inspect and clean door gaskets. Lubricate door gaskets with silicone spray lubricant to avoid them being sticky.

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