Protecting Your Car During Cold Weather
You may be prepared to keep your pipes from freezing and your home warm when the cold weather hits. It is always recommended that you take your car for a check up with the mechanic prior to the cold weather coming; however, if visiting a mechanic is not an option, there are certain things that you can do to keep your car running.
Check the Tire Pressure
When the temperature dramatically drops, the air within the tire condenses. This causes the tires to potentially become under-inflated. When vehicle tires are under-inflated, handling can become extremely difficult, especially when the roads become slick or icy. Since a temperature drop of 10 degrees may cause a 10 percent reduction in tire pressure, it is always recommended that drivers check their tire pressure whenever a major change in temperature occurs.
Antifreeze and Windshield Wiper Fluid Levels
Antifreeze is a chemical that lowers the freeze point and raises the boiling point. It protects the vehicle against corrosion and freezing during the winter. Prior to the cold weather hitting, drivers should check their antifreeze levels to ensure that they have the proper amount, as a frozen engine could cause major headaches.
Additionally, drivers who are required to drive in extreme weather may wish to change out their regular windshield wiper fluid with a special winter mix. The winter mixes contain a greater ratio of alcohol to water, which reduces freezing when applied to the windshield.
When vehicles are left to sit overnight with little gas in the tank, there is a chance that the fuel line can freeze. In order to prevent this, it is recommended that drivers keep their tanks half-filled at the very least, which reduces the risk of a freeze.
An emergency can happen at any moment, especially when the roads are covered in ice or slush and the visibility is low. While driving during extreme weather is dangerous, there are times when motorists have no choice. In these instances, it is always best to be prepared for an emergency. There are always certain items that drivers should have with them. These include:
- Jump cables
- Basic first aid kit
- Battery powered air compressor
- Extra clothing including socks
Cold weather does not have to wreck havoc on a vehicle. As long as the car remains protected and you are ready for any potential emergencies, getting through the cold season should not be a problem.