Although it is summer now, winter weather will be here before you know it. Keeping this in mind, it is good to be thinking through what you will need to do prepare for winter driving. Depending on where you live, winter weather could look very different than in other parts of the country. Some areas will have mild winters, and others could have blizzards. Even if winter just means cooler temperatures outside for you, there are things you should do to make sure your car is road ready.
How-to Prepare for Winter Driving: Things to Check
Car batteries can really be affected by cold temperatures. To prepare for winter driving, you should definitely test your battery. To do this, you can use a voltmeter to make sure it’s in good condition. A healthy battery should have a reading of 12.4 volts or more.
In older batteries, certain substances that the battery needs to function may freeze if temperatures get too low. Also, some grades of motor oil can thicken in cold weather. Thick oil could make the battery and starter have to work harder to turn the engine over. Having a healthy battery could help prevent overcome this problem.
Next, to prepare for winter driving, you will want to check your tires. If you live in an area that gets snow or ice, consider putting winter tires on your car. These tires have a deeper, more flexible tread, and will give you better traction in slippery conditions. On the other hand, if you decide to stick with all-season tires, check your tire tread regularly. Tires should be replaced if the tread is anything less than 2/32 of an inch. If a tire is bald and worn out, it will not have good traction.
Another thing to keep in mind is to check the tire pressure. As the outside temperature drops, tire pressure usually drops as well. If tire pressure is too low, too much of the tire’s surface area will touch the ground. This could make tire wear out too quickly. Additionally, it could cause your tires to overheat. If a tire overheats, your tire tread could separate, which could be dangerous.
Your windshield wipers are something you should check in order to prepare for winter driving. Make sure they are in condition, and replace them if needed. If they are not properly removing rain or snow from your car windshield, you could have a difficult time seeing out. Also, add wiper fluid that is rated for -30 degrees. This will help to keep your windshield wiper fluid from freezing up in cold weather.
As you can see, there are small steps that you can take to make sure that you are safe on the roads when the weather gets cold. These tips will help you prepare for driving in winter weather.