Winter is not everyone’s favourite time to drive. The weather’s unpredictability, precipitation, and low temperatures can make driving dangerous. Road safety starts with your vehicle, and that’s why you should prepare your car for winter even before the season begins.
Protect your vehicle from damage and help prevent road accidents with the following tips:
Read Your Car Manual
When was the last time you read your owner’s manual? Now may be a good time to revisit it. Go over the manufacturer’s recommendations when dealing with snow. Some vehicles can have snow chains fitted to their wheel and tyre, but your car may not be compatible with them. Always consult the manual to ensure you have the right winter accessories.
The handy instructions will also tell you other things you should accomplish before winter starts. For instance, you may have to drive at a slower speed and give it a bit more distance to hit the brakes. In slippery conditions, try not to accelerate hard. Also, practice easing through the bends using as minimal throttle as possible.
Check Your Car Insurance
When you’re done with your car manual, here’s one more thing to read: your car insurance policy. Know what’s covered and what’s not – even if you think you will not need the cover anytime soon. It’s worth your time, especially if you get into road trouble.
Some policies provide cover for a flat tyre, battery, and even a tow truck service. Others may even cover a rental car in case your vehicle is off the road. Knowing these details will help avoid out of pocket expenses, such as paying for a taxi. Comprehensive car insurance will also prove beneficial because it offers coverage for your car and other people’s vehicle and property.
Keep Your Windows Clean
You’ve put off cleaning the windows and demisting windscreens, but it’s time to take on this task before winter arrives. The cold season is not your friend during winter, easily impairing visibility. Keep your windows free from grime and fingerprints on the inside and outside. Use a window cleaner and have a streak-free cloth ready in the glovebox when the windscreen fogs up.
As for your windscreen wipers, they usually go unused for weeks or even months in WA. Imagine turning your wipers on and dealing with noisy squeaks the entire drive. Avoid this nuisance by simply checking the wiper blades before going out. Replace them if necessary. These blades tend to get destroyed quickly once the snow starts falling and ice is on the glass. So, it is best to face winter roads with fresh wipers. Do the same with your windscreen, especially if you see cracks and pits.
Consider Dashboard Covers and Car Seat Covers
The winter is particularly harsh on your dashboard and car seats, causing them to crack, fade, and deteriorate quickly. Protect them with good quality covers specially designed for the task. Think of the dash cover as a shield that keeps your dashboard in excellent condition whilst adding an upscale look to the car, as well. It’s perfect for old dashboards that already have imperfections and blemishes. Another fantastic reason dashboard covers are a must in the winter is that they help keep interiors warmer. But that doesn’t mean you should take them off in the summer. They also keep the car cooler under the harsh sun.
And just like you need your coat in the winter, you should also dress your car seats up with the right cover. If you do not have a car seat cover yet, pick one that fits snugly and does not feel uncomfortable once you’re seated. Make sure that it has openings for your airbags and other accessories.
Service and Maintenance
Get your car serviced regularly. Before winter, don’t forget to visit an auto body shop to check for issues. Your car’s engine will be under more stress when the temperatures drop, so you want to be confident that it is up for the challenge. After all, you do not want sluggish performance while on the road. It’s just one of the signs that your car is not fit for the frost.
Speaking of performance, tyres have a massive effect on how your car functions on the wet road. So, if you check your tyres every month during the warm months, you should do it more frequently in the winter – preferably every two weeks. Ensure that it has the correct tyre pressure to avoid handling problems and fuel inefficiencies.
Also, inspect the tyre condition and tread depth before winter arrives. Hot weather contributes to the fast degradation of the tyre rubber. There is a good chance you have worn tyres in the winter, which are dangerous on the road. Don’t let the tread depth reach 3mm. Many car insurance policies do not cover tyre issues, including punctures and rips, which are common in worn tyres.
Aside from the tyres and tread depth, here are other things that you need to do:
- Check that your headlights are not faded or yellowing
- Wipe away any greenish-white crud around the battery terminals
- If the battery has been in use for three to four years, it may be time for a replacement
- Have a winter emergency kit that includes jumper cables, boots, extra gloves, and a car charger
- Ensure the heating system is fully functional
- Replace dirty fuel, PCV, and air filters
Is your car winter-ready? Shop for your winterproofing accessories like car seat covers and dashboard covers here at Shevron.