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
Conditions

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
Solution

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.

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