The winter months can prove challenging for vehicle owners, especially in frigid, snowy areas. While most modern vehicles are designed to manage cold weather, there are still basic precautions that all drivers should take to handle the temperature drop. Here is a quick guide to winter=proofing your vehicle.
Keep Your Coolant Up
Your fluid levels are integral for a reliable car during the winter months. Make sure that you have the right mix of antifreeze and water to stop water from freezing up in your radiator. Your owner's manual will give you detailed information, specific to your vehicle. Testers are also available at all auto parts stores to ensure that you fill your coolant to its maximum capacity.
Try Switching Your Oil
If you live in an area where the temperature drops below zero, you should consider switching to a lower viscosity of oil. Thinner oils will improve fuel efficiency in cold temperatures. Engine damage can occur if your motor oil is too thick. This is due to difficulty in the flow between engine parts, particularly during cold weather.
Tire Protection for Frigid
Tire pressure is critical to your safety during winter. A combination of low air pressure and worn tires will reduce your traction, which can prove to be fatal on wet, slick roads. If you live in an area where snowfall is prevalent, consider getting a set of snow tires. All four tires should be mounted with snow tires to prevent problems from arising with your vehicle. Snow tires with studs are particularly useful for areas that experience heavy snowfall, while all-season tires are a better option for warmer areas.
Battery Maintenance is Essential
in Cold Weather
During the winter months, your battery capacity is reduced considerably. Check your battery, cables, fluid and terminals. There should be no cracks or breaks along your cable, while your terminals must fit snugly. Turn the engine off when reading the level of charge in your battery.
While some batteries have a hydrometer eye built-in, you may need a handheld hydrometer, or alternatively visit your nearest auto service station, some even offer free battery checks. Battery fluids must stay topped up with distilled water, especially in the cold. Keep a frequent check on your battery fluid.
A Complete Safety and Roadworthy
If you want to be fully certain that your vehicle, or light commercial goods vehicle is completely winter-proof, take advantage of the great interactive MOT questionnaire from AXA which evaluates your vehicle safety and roadworthiness. Their comprehensive evaluation will give you the peace of mind you need when motoring during the cold winter months.