06 Dec 5 Ways to Winter-proof Your Car
When mornings are freezing and roads are slick, your car suffers in the cold just as much as you do. The key to wintertime driving involves more than traveling slowly and cautiously, and your car needs to be in tip-top shape to get you to your destination safely. At Tiger Towing, we know prepping your car for the winter is one of the vital to getting through the cold months.To help you stay safe on the road, we put together a list of tips to on how to protect your car from the freezing temperatures:
1. Change your windshield wipers.
Your windshield is one of the most important parts of your car to protect during the winter because in order to travel safely through wet or icy streets, you need a clear view of the road. As soon as the snow and sleet starts to hit, your windshield wipers will be your best pal through the winter months. You’ll need a sturdy pair of wipers to clear everything away before the precipitation starts to freeze on your windshield. Make sure your current windshield wipers are working properly and leaving no streaks behind; otherwise, it may be time for a new pair. You’ll want to avoid pouring hot water on a frozen windshield, as the hot water hitting the cold may crack the glass.
2. Refill your fluids.
Windshield wiper fluids with a higher concentration of water can freeze on glass and blur your field of view. To prevent your wiper fluid from freezing, try the winter blend for around the same price. It has a greater concentration of alcohol instead of water and is less likely to freeze on your windshield. It’s also important to check the coolant in your car and make sure you have the right antifreeze and water mixture to prevent any fluid from freezing in the radiator.
3. Replace and check your tires.
If you don’t have all-season tires, the safest way to protect your car from slippage is swapping out summer tires for snow tires. Once the temperature drops below 44°F, summer tire performance declines. Having inadequate tires will cause trouble during braking and steering. As a result, many people slam on their car brakes thinking this prevents poor quality tires from steering a vehicle out of control, but in fact it does the opposite. As the winter progresses, make sure to keep an eye on your tire pressure because the cooler air reduces tire pressure every time there’s a 10-degree drop in the temperature.
4. Keep doors and locks from freezing.
One of the best ways to make sure your car doors and locks don’t freeze shut is by keeping your car under cover, but that isn’t always a readily available option. If your doors keep freezing shut, replace torn or missing door seals—otherwise known as rubber gaskets. To protect your locks, use rubbing alcohol with at least 60 percent alcohol on both the key and lock once a week. This sticks to the lock and prevents moisture from freezing over it. Petroleum jelly is another safe option to use to keep your car locks from freezing over.
5. Warm up your car for only a few minutes.
Instead of starting your car and letting it warm up in your driveway for 10 or more minutes, the best practice is to start your car and drive very simply until the oil is heated. The oil and car heats faster when you’re driving at slow speeds rather than leaving it parked and idle. Plus, leaving your car on and parked for more than a few minutes could dilute the oil with unburned fuel, wear down on your engine and waste gas.
Freezing temperatures and poor winter conditions can still affect your vehicle even after you’ve winter-proofed your car. If your car ends up off the road or you can’t get your locks to work, call Tiger Towing at 573-449-3754 for help.