Planning out a winter holiday trip is thrilling, but driving in such harsh weather can cause expensive damage to your car. The ice, snow, and freezing temperature can impact your car’s condition in many ways. For example, it will be hard for the battery to provide enough current when temperatures get wintery. Auto fluids can also suffer during cold temperatures, ending up being thicker and more inefficient.
Also, did you know that road salt can lead to car problems? While this may help melt the ice, repeated exposure to road salt can cause your vehicle’s brake or exhaust systems to corrode. Are you worried about driving to your winter holiday destination? Below are five tips on how to prepare your car.
1. Update your car paint
Who doesn’t want their car to look great on a holiday trip, right? This is why acquiring spray painting services should be on your list. To guarantee a long-lasting and top-quality paint job, look for a shop that uses a vehicle spray paint booth. These paint spray booths can prevent overspray that can lead to fires and explosions. In other words, they’re safer for you and your car.
Only hire professionals for the job to ensure control of hazardous materials during the service, dust-free and controlled environment, and long-lasting finish. Moreover, you can be confident that the auto paint is appropriate for your car’s model and make.
2. Check the fluids
A drive during winter can cause issues in your car’s fluids. Before you hit the road, take time to inspect the specialized fluids in your vehicle. The first one is the transmission fluid, which is often sealed in most newer cars. This fluid typically has a 100,000-mile service interval. Some vehicles still use power steering systems with liquids that can cause performance issues and leaks when contaminated. You can look for the fluid reservoir under the hood.
Also, don’t forget to check on your vehicle’s engine oil. Ideally, it must be taken every 1,000 to 3,000 miles. Changing into modern engine oil can keep the oiling system clean and improve lubrication properties. Other vital fluids that need checking are your brake fluid, coolant, and windshield wiper fluid.
3. Inspect your tires
Your tires may be the ones that’ll suffer the most when you’re driving during winter. Check for tire pressure every week before your holiday trick. You can drive it for a bit to check if you have low tire pressure. Check the warning lights. To get the proper pressure, fill them up in the ideal pound per square inch (PSI) based on your tires’ type and your car’s model and make.
If the pressure isn’t maintained, check the tires for damage or holes. Next, think about getting snow tires to guarantee a safer winter drive on your holiday trip. As their name suggests, these tires are designed for traction on snow and ice. They have superior tread patterns, better grip, and can better last through cold temperatures.
4. Test your car battery
Wintery temperature is never good for your car’s battery. It will work harder to warm itself and push to run the other car parts like your engine. The thickening engine oil can also require more power from your vehicle. These strains can cause your battery to die while you’re driving on the snowy road.
Before going on your winter drive, check the battery case for oozing or cracks, the water level, and corrosion on the connections. If your car battery is more than three years old, it’s best to bring it to a certified auto shop for testing. They can conduct a comprehensive inspection on the charge of your car’s battery, saving you from all the hassle.
5. Pack extra gear
Driving in inclement weather can come with unexpected incidents that you need to be prepared for. Pack some more essentials for your winter road trip. These include cold weather blankets, additional warm clothes, water and food, road flares, ice scraper, shovel, flashlights, first aid kit, car chargers, camping stove or matches, and hot packs. As for your vehicle, in particular, be sure you have extra wiper fluid, spare battery for your key fob, tow rope, and jumper cables, just in case.
Preparing your car for a long winter drive may seem too much work, but it can most definitely save you from costly repairs. At the same time, carefully plan your vacation with common sense and take the necessary precautions. Don’t rush when driving in inclement weather and before you start your trip, check the weather conditions. Change your travel plans if the weather is expected to be too severe.