We’re moving into the cooler seasons. Especially Chicago residents know that winter can come in a heart beat. Is your car ready for it?
If not, now may be the time to start planning. To help you in that process, here are 5 tips you can follow to make sure that you and your vehicle remain safe while preparing your car for winter.
1) Ensure Secure Tread
Adjusting your tires for colder seasons is probably the most obvious step in your preparation. Naturally, you don’t want to drive on tires that are slippery enough to give out or lose control at any sign of icing or snow.
At the very least, your tread should be deep enough to prevent any easy slippage, and your pressure should be at normal levels. A better solution is to put on winter tires, which will be more secure and stable than your typical all-weather alternatives. You may even want to look into chains, depending on your area.
2) Check Your Coolant
Coolant keeps your engine from overheating. But during winter, its antifreeze component also makes sure that the engine doesn’t freeze when it gets icy out. As a result, making sure that your antifreeze levels are where they should be is your second step in winter preparation.
Your car manual should tell you exactly what you can do to check antifreeze levels and add liquid if necessary. If you need it, you can buy antifreeze at any auto supply store in your area.
3) Prepare Your Wipers
Don’t forget about the importance of being able to see clearly when the snow starts coming down. Instead, make sure you’re prepared adequately by installing new wipers that clean your windshield properly and reliably.
In addition, you can also adjust your windshield wiper fluids. You can actually buy liquid specifically designed for colder weather, which includes antifreeze components to ensure you can always use it when the need arises.
4) Ensure Braking Functionality
It’s snowing, you see a red light, and you want to stop. The functionality and health of your brakes will determine whether the result is a routine you go through countless times on your commute, or an accident that could have been easily prevented.
Brakes naturally wear down over time, and the worst time for that to happen is when the road is slippery due to snow and ice. Before we get to that point, check your brakes and replace them if necessary to keep yourself and your vehicle safe through the season.
5) Never Run Empty
At this point, two common themes have emerged: make sure everything about your car is functioning properly, and that the liquids your engine needs to run will not freeze. The final step to ensuring the latter is to make sure that as it starts to get cold, never leave less than a quarter of a tank of gasoline in your car.
Gas won’t freeze nearly as easily as other liquids. But if you have too little, it will begin to form condensation, which impacts the productivity of your engine. Plus, you never know when you might get stuck in snow, and you don’t want to run out of gas when that happens.
In short, preparing your car for winter can be an in-depth process. To stay safe, and avoid weather-related accidents, you need to make sure that your vehicle can handle the cold season.
Don’t forget about your parking opportunities, either. Especially once the snow starts to come, you need to know that you always have a place for your car to stay when you’re not driving. Especially city parking spots can be expensive, of course. For an alternative that allows you to park for affordable prices and keep your car safe and functional during winter, contact us.