Brace Your Cars, Winter is Coming

Photo from Google Images

Photo from Google Images

Chase Ward, Staff Reporter

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The winter months can be especially hard on vehicles if they are not properly prepared for the cold. Batteries and tire pressure become weaker and if one is low on antifreeze, engine problems may await. It is not a pleasurable experience for someone to wake up in the morning to find their car has fallen victim to the cold and will not start.

Battery

It is important to test a car battery before winter arrives. It is often more difficult for batteries to operate in cold weather than in warmer weather. It is recommended to have a volt test taken before the winter months arrive to make sure the battery is still in working shape. It is not a bad idea to keep a pair of jumper cables handy in case of a dying battery.

Tires

It is also ideal to make sure tires are safe for use. Winter tires are more capable of staying flexible at lower temperatures; this allows them to have more traction with snow on the ground.  Keeping an eye on tire pressure is important, as tire pressure can drop with the air temperature.  Driving on under-inflated tires is unsafe because the car can handle with less predictably, cause premature tire wear and lead to potential tread separation.

Antifreeze

Coolant/antifreeze will prevent the engine from freezing in cold temperatures. Check to make sure they are not low on antifreeze before the weather gets colder.

Windshields and Wipers

Windshields and wipers should not be neglected either. They should be kept as clean as possible. A windshield cover is a valuable item to have; it will keep the snow and ice off of the windshield and provide insulation. Most windshield covers also come with mirror covers. However, if someone does not have a windshield cover, a standard windshield scraper and brush will suffice.

 

Making sure a vehicle is prepared for the winter is an important thing to do each year. Simple steps to ensure a car is ready for the cold may prevent bigger, more expensive problems down the line, but it is still a good idea to have extra clothes and blankets near to keep warm in the event of an emergency. Be sure to make sure your car is ready for the cold because winter will be here soon!