Well, we’ve officially made it through the first week of winter, and for those of us headquartered in Texas, it’s been nothing more than a cool breeze. However, while we’re enjoying our remaining days sunbathing, the rest of the nation is getting prepared for the icy road ahead. So, we’d like to offer up some tips for keeping your car in tip-top shape for when the snow starts coming down. Buckle up those belts – and flip on the seat warmers – as we walk you through the best ways to winterize your vehicle.
CHECK YOUR BATTERY
Without a working battery, your car is dead in the winter. You can test your battery yourself, or have it tested by a technician to guarantee it’s working properly and can hold a substantial charge. At 5 degrees Fahrenheit, a working battery can hold only half its projected amp-pour capacity. So, let’s make sure you’re charged so you can stay in charge of the situation.
GET YOUR WINDSHIELD READY
It doesn’t matter how talented you are in the snow, if you can’t see the road, you’re going to be driving on thin ice. Make sure your windshield wipers are replaced, and your wiper fluid is filled to the brim with a brand of fluid that has a lower freezing temperature. Also, don’t forget to buy an ice scraper. It’s one of the most overlooked tools in winter preparation, but can make a huge difference in how quickly – and safely – you hit those winter roads.
When the rubber meets the road, it’s up to you to keep yourself safe. So, if you’re expecting particularly pernicious precipitation, it might be in your best interest to swap your all-season tires for some snow tires. They’re made with a softer rubber, which keeps them from getting too stiff in the cold. If you’re looking for the Cadillac of snow tires, we recommend the The Nokian Hakkapeliitta 9, featured on our post about recent advancements in the auto industry. Lastly, regardless of what tires you choose, make sure to check the tire pressure. Because properly blowing up your tires is the key to avoid one blowing out.
GET PLENTY OF FLUIDS
To avoid any bumps in the road, make sure all of your fluids are running smoothly. In order to prevent the coolant from freezing, your mixture of antifreeze and water in your radiator should be about 50/50. And in terms of oil, get a winter-ready oil change with a slightly thinner oil. This will prevent the oil from getting too thick, which causes it to course through your car at a much slower rate.
When you get blindsided by a winter emergency, the last thing you want is to be left out in the cold. As always, you should have a first aid and roadside kit in your car, but it never hurts to add a few winter-specific items: flares, extra antifreeze, pair of warm clothes, non-perishable food, matches and more. Trust us: it’s better to be worry-free than worried about freezing.
At Caliber, we always get excited when the weather starts turning our world into a winter wonderland, but we don’t let that keep us from keeping up with our winter checklists. The best thing you can do for yourself, and the other people on the road, is to be prepared, drive defensively and weather the storm early. As always, thank you for reading and thank you for letting us restore the rhythm of your life.