When dealing with the approaching winter cold, here are some useful winter car maintenance tips when the frost starts to set in.
One of the most neglected, and most costly, is neglecting your tires. During the winter season it’s important to have a good grip on the road, and one of the best ways to do this is making sure that your tires are not unduly worn, and have proper traction on the road. During the months of frost it can be hard to ensure you have proper traction, as ice forms on the road, and leaves you liable to not only slight slips of traction, but serious loss of control over your steering as well. Because winter tires have very aggressive tread, it’s important to ensure that they are in proper alignment. Although more expensive, the extra grip is worth the price you pay. It’s not expensive to have your car’s tires aligned at all, and it can save your life.
Improvements in handling are one of the most important features when dealing with tires, and properly maintaining them during the winter. The difference between a slight bit of traction can mean the difference between life and death. In addition to the grip of your tires, it’s important to ensure that your car’s tire pressure is properly kept. Because of the cold, the volume of your car’s tire pressure with reduce. For every ten degrees Fahrenheit, you tire’s PSI will drop by one. Very often, you can see a full drop of fifty degrees Fahrenheit during the winter, for a net loss of five PSI in your tires. However, do not overinflate them, as the tires heat up while driving at high speed. It’s important to observe a happy medium in your car’s tire PSI in order to receive maximum efficiency in them. Remember to keep valve caps secure on the reception port of your tires, as they are prone to frost and can relieve air from the tires, lowering the PSI.
Another much neglected portion of winter car maintenance that most new car owners often leave, is failing to exchange proper wiper fluid in colder environments. Some washer fluid is only acceptable in more temperate climates, and have a very high freezing point. While winter washer fluid is more expensive, it’s important to take precautions against freezing in your washer fluid storage. Doing so can not only prevent you from being able to use your washer fluid, but also cause serious and permanent damage to the care.
In general, when performing maintenance on your car during the winter months, it’s better to be safe than sorry. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and when dealing with expensive car parts, when the worst happens it can absolutely drain your wallet. A few extra dollars well spent on either rotating your tires, ensuring you have tires with decent tread, or acceptable washer fluid, can be the difference between spending a few dollars this winter, and having to make tough decisions during this holiday season.