Although it kept us waiting, the cold season is finally making its presence felt. The grey mornings flooded with fog, the sharp winds, and the cars covered by frost are the snowdrops of the cold season. And now that we have all these heralds, we need to prepare our car for winter.
How do we prepare our car for winter?
- The first and most obvious step is to change the tyres. When temperatures stay below 7 degrees Celsius, we have to run to the auto shop to mount our winter tyres (except if you use all-season tyres). Better sooner than later, this way you can find tyres at a better price and avoid queues in case of unexpected snow.
If you opt for second-hand tyres, check the tread depth to ensure you have the necessary grip and rotate the tyres between them at each oil change or 10,000 km to prevent uneven wear.
- Ensure you have the right tyres – winter approved tyres must have the inscription MS (mud and snow) according to Romanian law and RAR legislation. If you live in an area with heavy snow, opt for tyres that also have a snowflake sign. They have been additionally tested and offer better performance on snow.
- Check the pressure monthly – as the temperature drops, so does the tyre pressure. At a difference of 10 degrees Celsius, the pressure drops by approx. 0.1 bar. If you mounted the tyres at +7 degrees Celsius with a tyre pressure of 2.0, at -10 degrees Celsius, they could have 1.8. Low pressure leads to premature tyre wear or, in some cases, to cracks and explosions.
- Regular maintenance of your car is crucial when preparing for winter. Check the oil and antifreeze to avoid problems with the radiator, water pump or any other type of installation that contains water.
- In winter, energy storage capacity decreases due to low temperatures. Call a specialist who can inspect the car battery so you can start from the parking lot without the help of your neighbours.
- Check the windshield fluid – if the water freezes in the pool, an ice plug can form, which will cause you problems all winter and it will make using the windshield sprinklers incredibly difficult.
In the worst case, the pool, hoses and water pump can crack due to icy water. Avoid the extra costs with a bottle of windshield fluid and a few minutes of attention.
- When preparing your car for winter, don’t forget the reliable kit: the squeegee and a spray that defrosts the locks. A good tip would be to keep them in the house in case your car doors are frozen.
- Periodic cleaning of the car – after the snow, it is recommended to clean the snow on the car even if you do not drive with it. During the day, when the temperatures rise, the snow melts, and the water seeps until it falls. The night comes with frost, and the next day, the weatherstrip can crack when you try to open the door.
- Headlights, headlights, headlights – the day is shorter, and you will depend much more on headlights. Roads are dirtier due to salt and sand and will affect the quality and visibility of headlights. Start the season with a polish of the headlights and clean them periodically to keep a high brightness.
If you know other helpful tips that can help us prepare the car for winter, write them in the comments and help us create a complete list. An informed world is a happy world. Also, check out our article about driving safely in the winter.