Now that November is nearly here, many areas of the country can look forward to months of cold weather, and it’s important that drivers in the midst of such conditions make sure their automobiles are up to the task of transporting them safely. You don’t even have to live in such climes to do this; even those who are simply going to be traveling through cold weather environments need to take precautions with their vehicles.
For Southern Californians, where the weather is often pristine, such maintenance may seem alien, but it’s absolutely essential for any vehicle exposed to the cold. Thankfully, a new report finds AAA providing a series of tips geared toward the types of preventative maintenance that all commuters would be wise to carry out.
Tires are one of those things that people should be checking on a monthly basis but that often get short shrift among citizens. Having the right pressure in the winter, as judged by a tire gauge and the suggestion of the owner’s manual, can ensure that a tire isn’t in danger of experiencing a flat and leaving you stranded in the cold. You also want to verify that the depth of the tread is sufficient to encourage safety, as balding tires are at greater risk of sliding on slick winter surfaces.
You also shouldn’t underestimate the importance of functioning wiper blades when it comes to traveling through snowy environments. It’s not just falling snow and rain that can impede vision. A blizzard will leave behind grime and snow that can be kicked up for days and even weeks to come, and if your windshield wipers aren’t in good repair, this can cause a severe accident.
Most people don’t realize that the inserts on their wiper blades are only supposed to be used for a maximum of around a year and so they will push them long past that point. Rather than make that mistake, get in the habit of checking for cracks or wear on a monthly basis, the same rate at which you check your tires. If you ever notice streaks appearing on your windshield where previously there were none, it may be time for a switch. Also keep your fluid topped off so that dirt the wipers can’t get on their own can be removed.
Finally, realize the impact that excessively cold temperatures will have on your car’s battery. Internal mechanisms may be broken down and the battery itself can corrode much faster. Therefore, every few months you should make sure the battery’s connections are adequate, and if it’s been a few years since you’ve made a battery switch, bring it in to a qualified facility for a test to determine its charge.