23 Nov Winterize Your Vehicle

The weather is steadily getting colder, and before we know it, we’ll be waking up to icy roads for our morning commutes. With icy, winter-y conditions fast approaching, it’s important that our vehicles are in tip-top shape.

In August, we taught you, our readers, how to ensure your cars survived the hottest days of summer, but every season requires something unique of your vehicle. Extreme heat can indeed have negative effects on your car, but so can extreme cold.

Cold air means snow, ice, changing air pressure, and some potentially sticky situations. It’s important that both you and your vehicle are well-prepared! Luckily, there are plenty of steps you can take towards staying safe when driving this winter.

Prepare

Before the cold really hits, there are a few things you’ll want to make sure your car has. The first are winter wiper blades. These blades are heavier than normal wiper blades and have a special rubber part that prevent ice from collecting and rendering them ineffective. It’s also important you make sure that your wiper fluid is freeze-resistant. If it’s not, using your wiper fluid in cold temperatures will only serve to further obscure your vision when it freezes against the cold glass.

Winter tires will also be handy addition to your car this winter. Regular tires tend to be negatively affected by cold temperatures; they contain rubber compounds that tend to harden in the cold and in turn, lessen their ability to grip the road. This can be incredibly dangerous, especially in icy and snowy conditions. Installing winter tires will up your car’s traction as they contain special compounds that won’t harden in the cold.

Keep It Up

There are some things you’ll need to keep an eye on continuously throughout the winter.

Cold weather actually affects the air pressure in your cars’ tires. For every 10 degrees colder it gets, your tires lose 1 PSI. Make sure you give your tires consistent pressure checks and refill them accordingly.

Your gas tank also needs some extra love during the cold winter months. We suggest ensuring your tank is at least half full at all times. This may seem like overkill, but keeping your tank full will prevent your gas line from freezing, something you do not want happening.

You’ll also want to keep your (freeze-resistant) washer fluid full. It can take a lot to keep a windshield clear when it’s icy, snowy, and salty; you’re bound to go through washer-fluid quickly, so keep the reservoir full and keep a back-up bottle in your trunk for safe keeping.

Come Prepared

Things can take a turn for the worst quite quickly when it comes to winter driving. Weather can be unpredictable and fast-changing and icy spots in the road can sneak up when you’re least expecting. It’s important you have the tools you’ll need to stay safe with you in your vehicle at all times.

We suggest keeping a few staples in your trunk— hopefully you won’t need them, but if the going gets rough, they’ll be there! Always keep a warm extra layer in your trunk, if you do get stranded, or if you need to spend a prolonged time outside your vehicle doing maintenance, you’ll be glad you have it. Some other things you should consider keeping are: jumper cables, a first aid kit, an ice scraper, extra anti-freeze, a sand bag and a shovel, a car tool kit, and a few high calorie non-perishable food items.

Winter can be an undeniably tough time on your vehicle. Accidents and car-troubles are frequent, and you’ll want to ensure that you’re properly covered by your Massachusetts auto insurance. Give us a call at 508-528-5200 and we can look over your policy with you and ensure you’ll be covered in the event something does happen to your car.

 

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