It’s no secret that maintaining a car in snowy regions can be difficult. In fact, many people choose to simply stay off the roads during winter months altogether. However, with a little bit of preparation and knowledge, you can keep your car running smoothly all winter long. In this guide, we will discuss some tips for maintaining your car in snowy conditions.
Equip the garage
A heated garage is a must for anyone living in a snowy region. Most garages are not adequately insulated to withstand the winter chill, so you’ll need to modify your garage or build an addition if you want to maintain a safe and warm storage location. In order to keep the temperature from dropping too far, consider using several space heaters to warm up the area. Another thing you can add is floor mats for the garage door to prevent snow from getting tracked in. They can be purchased easily online, are inexpensive, and can make a big difference.
Cover the car
This may seem like an obvious point, but it is one of the most important to extend the life of your vehicle. If your car is outside, a good quality waterproof cover will not only protect your vehicle from ice storms and snowfall which could cause damage but will also shield the interior from the cold. If you are parking your car in an unheated garage, it’s still a good idea to cover it. This can be done when you purchase a cover that has an additional insulation value as well. These covers do tend to be more expensive than regular ones though, so keep that in mind when making your purchasing decision. Also, make sure not to stack heavy items on top of the car cover and never use a tarp as they will eventually wear out.
Snow tires are a must
By far the most important thing you can do before driving in snowy conditions is to equip your car with snow tires. Your car will have a much easier time making it through bad weather with good snow tires, and you’ll experience less risk of getting stuck or sliding off the road. If you aren’t sure if your current vehicle has snow tires, check the sidewalls for information on traction levels or other special equipment that might be present. And remember to always drive slowly and cautiously in snowy conditions.
Don’t forget that snowy conditions can cause accidents that can harm both the car and its driver. If you experience a tire blowout, you’ll want to take care of it as quickly as possible in order to avoid potential dangers. First, do not try to change in on the highway unless absolutely necessary. Stop at a safe location and then carefully begin the process of changing the flat. If you need more information on how to change a tire safely, check your owner’s manual or do some online research.
Keep the engine running smoothly
During the winter months, your battery can be subject to extreme cold which will cause it to lose power over time. This is why you need to check that your battery has a full charge before heading out into the snow. If it does not, use a charger or take it for a quick spin around the block. Also, make sure your vehicle is serviced and has plenty of oil and antifreeze in it in order to prevent any damage that might occur due to extreme cold.
Turning on fog lights
A great way to increase visibility during snowy conditions is to turn on your vehicle’s fog lights. If you aren’t sure where the fog lights are or how to activate them, check your owner’s manual for specific instructions. Remember that using your low beams will also help increase visibility though, so you don’t need to rely exclusively on the fog lights if they aren’t working correctly or aren’t present on your vehicle.
Downspouts or gutters
When you have a garage that is exposed to the elements, it’s very important that you clear away any water buildup on the roof and walls of your garage. When there is a large amount of snowfall, this buildup can cause dangerous ice dams near the gutters. If this hazard develops, your downspouts can also freeze which prevents water from draining off the roof of the garage. This can cause serious damage to your building and is an easy problem to avoid by clearing away the snowfall before it accumulates. The last thing you want in these conditions is to take on an emergency repair job due to negligence.
Place a sheet of plywood on the ground
If you own a garage, there’s a good chance that it has a smooth floor. This is great for maintaining your car but can cause problems when you try to launch it at high speeds. When taking your car out of storage, be sure to throw down a sheet of plywood or thin plywood initially so the wheels have some traction on it. This will allow you to launch quickly and get out onto the road without any problems.
Keeping your car in good shape
Basic maintenance keeps your car safe during the winter as well. Make sure that you don’t leave any liquid in the trunk such as glass or chemicals that could freeze and damage your vehicle. If possible, coat any exterior metal surfaces with oil so they won’t freeze and expand when exposed to frigid temperatures outside. Finally, check the tread on your tires and keep them inflated properly so there is enough room for the block to absorb the shock when you launch from a standstill.
Maintaining your car in snowy conditions can be a daunting task, but following these simple tips will help you keep your vehicle safe and ready for the roads. Equip your car with snow tires, keep the engine running smoothly, and turn on the fog lights to increase visibility. Make sure to clear away any water buildup near the gutters and garage door, and place a sheet of plywood on the ground to provide traction when launching your car. By following these easy steps, you’ll be able to rest assured that your car is ready for whatever winter throws your way.