Winter can be a tough period both for drivers and their vehicles. This is when vehicles tend to take the most damage and when most accidents occur. As a matter of fact, it’s estimated that you’re about 20% more likely to be in an accident during the wintertime.
Lots of it has to do with lack of preparation. If you adapt your vehicle to deal with winter weather and adjust your driving style, you’ll be able to reduce those risks. You’ll also be able to preserve your vehicle. Let’s take a look at how you can prepare your car for winter in 6 easy steps.
Check Your Wheels
The tyres you choose for your vehicle will play a crucial role in how well you’ll be able to perform on ice and snow. Some people will want to go with all-weather tyres because of the convenience, but they’re not always the best choice. It would be a better idea to go with winter tyres, as these provide a better grip.
If you’re using last season’s tyre, we suggest that you check the tread depth on them. The legal limit is 3mm or higher for winter tyres compared to 1.6mm for the rest of the year. One of the easiest ways to check is to take a penny and put it in between the tread lines. If more than half of the penny is sticking out, the tread is too shallow.
Get Solid Floor Mats
It’s also very important that you get floor mats for your vehicle. That goes for every seat in the car. Snow and de-icing agents can be disastrous for the bottom of your car. If you let them penetrate, they will cause widespread damage to the floor that could be irreversible.
If you’re looking for car mats that will protect the bottom of your car and look great, we suggest you check out Mr Car Mats. They have one of the widest selections of floor mats in the country and allow you to customise virtually every aspect of it. They offer both rubber and carpet mats and they allow you to add a personalised logo as well.
Get the Right Tools
A lot of things can go wrong in the winter, so you have to make sure that you have the right tools to deal with any conditions. You need to have at least one shovel in the car. You also need an ice scraper and snow brush. We also suggest you have a spare pair of walking boots in your vehicle as well as a pair of jump start cables. Investing in a power bank would be a good idea as well.
Always Check the Temperature
It’s also very important that you always know what the temperature will be during the day and if there will be significant changes. You will usually have much better traction in milder temperatures, but if it’s milder in the morning and suddenly gets colder later, the surface will become icy, so you have to be prepared to change your driving style.
Get Winter Wipers
Having good wipers is very important in the winter. Heavy wet snow can make the road almost invisible to you if you don’t have the right wipers. Winter wipers will have a rubber layer that prevents ice from accumulating. Just remember to take them off when spring comes. That’s because these tend to be heavier and will put more strain on your wiper motor.
Another thing you want to do is make sure that your windshield fluid is full at all times. Snowstorms could drain it very quickly, so you have to make sure that you not only keep the reservoir full but have a spare container in the car as well. Also, make sure that it’s made to sustain winter conditions.
Pack a Safety Kit
No one should drive a car during the winter without having a safety kit. You might never know what kind of incident you might find yourself in. You need to have extra gear in case you’re stranded and can’t use the heater in your car. The weather across Britain recently has shown exactly how unpredictable it can be, with six feet of snow bringing the roads to a standstill in some areas.
Things that should be in your safety kit include blankets and warm clothing like a coat, socks, and boots. You should also add a first aid kit and a flashlight with extra batteries.
Also, you want to make sure that you keep some food. Make sure that you pack calorie/protein-dense foods like protein bars and make sure that you have lots of water as well. Other things you should pack include a bag of sand to help with traction, a car tool kit, and antifreeze. Additionally, snow socks and snow chains for your tyres have never been more in demand due to the bad weather.
These are all things that you should do to prepare for bad winter weather. If you’re missing some of those, we suggest you get them immediately if you want to reduce the chance of complications and preserve your vehicle.