Whether you like the cold weather during wintertime or not, driving in these conditions isn’t easy. While driving during this time is quite a hassle, it can also be extremely demanding and harsh on your car. Get your vehicle serviced at a mechanic garage, to ensure that all aspects of your car are functioning well. Here are five vehicle checks to conduct during the winter season:
1. Check Tire Pressure
Driving on icy roads can be risky, and you need the right car tires. Whether or not you switch to snow tires during winter, you must monitor the tire pressure at regular intervals as winter advances. It’s common for the tire pressure to drop in colder weather as the fluctuating temperature causes expansion and contraction of the tires. This results in further wear & tear, affects your tires’ performance, and can also lead to an accident.
2. Oil change
If your car is due for a regular oil change, get a full oil & filter change done. Generally, it would be best if you did this every 8,000km or six months. However this frequency varies from one vehicle to the next. Your vehicle owner’s manual will mention the maintenance schedule, and that’s what you should follow. A garage mechanic at a CAA mechanic garage would also be able to help you with information regarding these schedules. Experts generally recommend synthetic oil over mineral oil for most vehicles. It makes starting the engine easier on those cold and frosty mornings and provides better engine protection too.
3. Protect Your Car’s Paint by Parking It in a Sheltered Space
The winter weather causes a significant drop in temperatures, and you must park your vehicle in a sheltered space. It’s not ideal to expose your car to snow and ice. Also, constant scraping and brushing off the snow off your vehicle can result in scratches in the paint. Parking it either in a garage or some other sheltered space can protect its paint. If you don’t have a garage, invest in a good quality car cover.
While either of these will provide adequate protection when your car is parked, the rock salt, snow, and slush on the streets can affect the paint when you are driving anywhere. Make sure you get a protective car wax coat for your vehicle for the winter and wash your vehicle regularly, as it will help maintain the paint job.
3. Check the Battery
Dead car batteries are a common problem during winter months. The best way to ensure this doesn’t happen to you is to get the battery checked. Older batteries are also more likely to stop functioning in the winter months. You can easily do a load test using a handheld voltmeter or millimeter. This device will measure the charge and capacity of the battery. If you find these below normal, get the battery replaced at a mechanic garage before it dies out, and you find yourself stranded in the snow.
5. Replace Wiper Blades
Clear visibility is vital when you are on the road. Most people don’t realize just how quickly wiper blades lose their effectiveness during wintertime. If you find leftover water leaving streaks on the windshield after each swipe, it indicates you need to replace them. However, you can wipe down the rubber blades using a clean washcloth to see whether there is any improvement in performance. Replace the blades if this cleaning doesn’t solve the problems. Keep your wiper fluid also topped at all times.
If you don’t feel very confident making all these checks, a CAA mechanic garage would be able to help. Always drive safely and make the best of the winter season!