Winter weather means more than tough driving conditions; it means more wear and tear on your vehicle too. Keep your car in tough shape by winterising it before bad weather hits. For your safety and your car’s, use these ten tips to weatherise your car and prepare for anything old man winter will throw at you this season.
1. Ban Corrosion
Prevent corrosion from road salt and wet weather by having a rust-proof coating applied to the undercarriage of your car. This can save hundreds and even thousands in repair damage to rusted chassis and body panels.
2. Get a Winter Emergency Kit
You never know when winter weather will take a turn for the worst or your car has a problem and you are left stranded and waiting for help in an icy cold car. Make your own emergency care kit complete with non-perishable food, water, hand warmer packs, a tool kit, window scrapers, lock-defreeze, a shovel, sand or kitty litter, a two cable, road flares, an emergency starter, a warning light, an emergency cell phone, an emergency road sign, traction mats, boots, gloves, a coat, blankets, a torch, boost cables, matches, and a reflective vest. Make sure there is enough emergency warm clothing and food for each passenger for at least two days.
3. Get an Oil Change for Winter
Winterisation is the best time to remember to get an oil change. Fresh oil will make cars start easier in cold weather. Also, get your brakes, tires, cooling and heating system, and wiper checked too.
4. Have Winter Tyres Installed
Changing your tyres every 6-months should be a normal thing as part of good vehicle maintenance. If you live where freezing rain and snow are normal then you need to get winter tyres that can grip the road in icy conditions. Install them on all four tires for the best traction in winter.
5. Install Winter Wipers
Winter wipers are designed not to freeze, crack, or shatter in sub-zero temperatures.
6. Is it time for a New Battery?
Don’t wait for the first bite of frost to find out your battery is too old or not made for cold temperatures. Have your battery tested during your next oil change and consider buying a cold-start winter battery just in case.
7. Lubricate Door and Trunk Locks
There is a special anti-freeze spray made for door locks and sliding door mechanisms that can prevent iced-up locks and door rails in winter and freezing temps. Use it on your trunk too, to prevent damage to the trunk hinges.
8. Prevent Frozen Door Seals
Go buy a special weather-strip lubricant and lubricate your door seals to keep them in top shape and prevent water damage and ice-banks from happening on the door seals.
9. Put Down Winter Floor Mats
This may seem cosmetic to most, but winter floor mats prevent rust and corrosion damage to wiring tucked under carpeting and also rust damage to the floor boards too. Your best bet is to buy mats that are made to fit. These will last longer and can be stored and reused for many winters to come.
10. Swap Out Windshield Washer Fluid
Winter windshield washer fluid won’t freeze on your windshield in winter and is a must for those living where temps dip below 0o Celsius (30 Fahrenheit).
Remember to adjust your driving. Winter conditions can be unpredictable and keeping an eye on the weather and driving more defensively. Check out your local vehicle safety website for driving tips best suited for your region and road conditions.