1. Have your car serviced for Winter conditions
Plan to have your vehicle serviced before the onset of harsh weather conditions. Below is a suggested list of items to have checked by your auto repair shop:
Low temperatures reduce the ability of the battery to retain a charge. If the charge drops too low, the water within the cells may freeze, ruining the battery entirely, leaving you with a car that fails to start. In preparation for winter conditions, your battery, starter and alternator should undergo testing to ensure all are in good working condition.
Coolant, oil, brake fluid and winter compatible windshield washer fluid should all be replenished or replaced, if necessary, before the approaching colder months. Coolant in particular can freeze in extreme cold and potentially damage critical engine components. At Motor Werke, we recommend a coolant to water ratio of 60/40.
Spark plugs, belts, hoses and brakes:
While these are all elements that could fail at any point in the year, it is prudent to have your technician do a pre-winter check to minimize the risk of failure in winter conditions.
2. Winter Tires
Invest in Winter tires! Winter tires are constructed with a special compound that withstands hardening in cold temperatures, keeping them flexible, and resulting in greatly improved traction in icy, snowy and slushy road conditions.
3. Check fuel level
A sufficient fuel level in times of cold temperatures reduces the potential for condensation in the fuel tank and helps to prevent the fuel lines from freezing.
4. Monitor your tire pressure
Check your tire pressures frequently as temperatures drop. Every 10 degree drop in temperature can result in a loss of up to 1 psi in your tires. Driving with underinflated tires can cause premature tire wear, potential tread separation and handling difficulties, particularly in winter driving conditions.
5. Check your lights
Ensure your headlights, fog lights and signals are working correctly and providing the brightest possible illumination for safe winter driving. Before you start off in your car, check to see there is no snow covering your lights or signals.
6. Emergency Kit
Winter weather can be highly unpredictable and it’s best to be prepared. It’s a great idea to put together an emergency kit including items from the list below:
- Jumper cables
- Tow rope
- Roadside flare
- Flashlight and batteries
- Ice scraper
- First Aid kit
- Bag of sand & shovel
- Extra antifreeze
- Warm clothing/thermal blankets
- Non-perishable food and beverage items
- Cell phone charger