Is Your Car Winter-Ready? Check Out Our Top 3 Winter Car Care Tips
Winter is one of the most magical times of the year - spending time with family and friends, enjoying a warm, cozy fire and hot cocoa while watching the snow fall, playing in the snow, and taking in all of the festive activities that the season has to offer can bring you closer to your loved ones and make you feel great. But winter can also be a dangerous time of year in terms of driving with all of the bad weather, low visibility, and cold temperatures. To ensure that you, your vehicle, and your family are ready for winter driving and all that goes along with it, we've compiled a list of the top 3 winter car care tips to keep you and your loved ones safe all season long.
Be Prepared for An Emergency
The very last thing you want while on the road during the cold winter months is to become stranded. However, it can happen, and if it does, you need to be prepared. Keep a small emergency kit in your glove box with all of the essentials - a flashlight with extra batteries, a battery-powered cell phone charger, a small amount of non-perishable food, and extra gloves and headwear. By keeping these items in the glove box, they are accessible to you even if you can't get out of the car right away. Be sure to keep a larger emergency kit in the trunk, as well, including items such as weather-resistant boots, extra socks, a warm jacket or poncho, sand or cat litter for traction, flares, and a shovel. It's also a good idea to do a bit of brainstorming to think of any necessities that are specific to you or your region.
Keep Your Car's Exterior Clean & Covered
Cold weather can really do a number on your car's exterior. The cold temperatures can wear down your paint's enamel, ruin the wax, and cause chipping which can expose your car's frame to snow and other winter weather that can cause it to rust. Winter weather and salt on the roads can cause your car's undercarriage to rust, as well. In order to combat these problems, start by cleaning your car with a car-specific product such as a clay car care bar, as non-car specific products can ruin your paint's finish. Then, apply a glaze or polish to make the surface nice and shiny, and follow up with a paste or liquid wax for a seal. When possible, be sure to keep your vehicle covered, such as when you know your town is about to get hit with some bad winter weather or a blizzard or snow storm. This will protect your car's exterior in the event that you can't shovel it out for a day or two.
Don't Neglect Your Tires
It is never okay to neglect your car's tires, but it is especially important to check them regularly during the winter months. This is because for every 10 degrees the outside temperature drops, your tire pressure decreases by about one pound. It's best to check tire pressure about once a month, so that you can adjust the pressure before it becomes dangerously low. It's also important to check your tires for natural wear and tear such as low tread, cracks, or flat or weak spots. If you live in an area that's especially prone to winter storms, then tire chains or snow tires are a good investment, as they can help you to safely navigate slick and slushy roads.
There will always be a certain amount of risk associated with winter driving, but by following these three simple tips, you can help keep yourself, your passengers, and other drivers on the road safe during the cold months and tough weather. Be sure to share this information with family and friends, and help spread awareness about the best winter driving practices.
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