During winter vehicles are driven under more demanding and at times even extreme conditions. The risk of accidents and breakdowns therefore significantly increases. In order to avoid trouble, experienced drivers get ready for winter in advance. That is why we have also approached this issue beforehand and would like to share with you 8 tips that help you to prepare your car properly.
Winter definitely has its merits, with the New Year holidays and a cozy atmosphere, but let’s be honest, this is the time when everyone wishes for some warmth and sunshine by the beach. Luckily, nowadays, you don’t have to plan a trip six months in advance. All you need to do is choose a country, rent a car and set off on your own adventure. Due to the widespread availability of car rental services, you can find them in every country. Aside from mobility and convenience, another plus of automobile rental is their wide range. Therefore, it is possible to hire a roomy SUV as well as a miniature cabriolet car and set on a trip right away.
There are plenty of negative factors in winter such as frost, extreme temperatures and ice on the roads, but even minimal preparation for the cold season can minimize damage and make driving more pleasant and safe. Here’s what to look out for first.
- Tire replacement
Remember that when the average daily temperature drops below 7°C it is time to use winter tires. Cars with summer tires can lose control over the vehicle with a much higher chance. When you prepare your car for winter, get your rims balanced at a tire workshop.
- Engine oil change
It’s worth changing the oil in time for winter so that it doesn’t thicken in the cold. A thicker composition which makes it less easy to circulate through the system means that engine parts rub against each other more heavily and wear out more quickly during operation. This is not to mention the fact that an engine with thicker oil wastes more battery power.
- Replacement of wiper blades
Winter preparation is an excellent reason to change your windshield wiper blades as well. During several seasons of exploitation they could be worn out, and even though they can scrape the glass with their bald bristles. A better option is to buy their special winter version, which is significantly softer and doesn’t harden in the cold.
- Coolant fluid change
The coolant should be replaced if you notice that the antifreeze is leaking in warm weather, and you have to dilute it with water or top it up again. The diluted composition is sure to freeze in winter, which may be fatal for the engine. The state of the coolant can be checked yourself with special test strips. Generally it’s easier to replace the standard antifreeze every two years.
- Charging the battery
Taking care of your battery is essential so that one frosty morning you won’t discover that your car can’t move your car without a cigarette lighter. Winter nights are unfavorable for battery power and as a result the car battery loses its charge very quickly.
- Inspecting the heating system
Check the airflow out of the air vents before the first cold days come by switching the climate control system on to a warm setting. However, in case the temperature is clearly lower, the reasons for this could be airlocks in the engine cooling system or malfunctions in the control system.
- Adjusting the headlights
Many car owners have to drive to work in the winter when it is still dark outside. Under these conditions, driving safety depends on the brightness and correct setting of headlights. Make sure all the bulbs on your car are working correctly. Replace blown bulbs if you find any and get some in stock.
- Carry out some winter tools
As well as refueling and the occasional oil or tire pressure check, there are a number of other things you need to consider in the winter. To be prepared, put winter tools you need in the car’s luggage compartment. First and foremost, you’ll need a brush to clear snow from your car and an ice scraper for when it’s frozen on the windows.
Now that you know the essentials to watch out for when preparing your car for the winter season, you can get it done faster and be assured of your safety on the road.