Driving by itself is rife from dangers from the environment, other drivers, or even yourself if you fail to pay sufficient attention to the road. But driving during the winter is like switching to “Hard Mode.” It takes all of the dangers of driving and magnifies them ten fold. One of the smartest winter driving tips you can use is to fix your car up before you even start driving. Here are some essential maintenance to perform before you attempt to drive in snow and ice.
Check Your Antifreeze
You don’t want to attempt to start your car one sub-zero morning only to find that your engine has been transformed into a block of ice. So before the weather starts to get chilly, check the white plastic tank that is next to the radiator and fill it with a 50/50 solution of antifreeze and water. To make things easier and less messy, most auto parts stores offer this solution already mixed.
Replace Your Windshield Wipers
Unless you live in a place that experiences constant rainfall, you probably have neglected your windshield wipers in the months leading up the winter. That will be bad news when you find yourself caught in rain or a snowfall and suddenly realize that your windshield wipers are so damaged they just move water and snow around on your windshield, not remove it. The good news about this one is that replacing your wipers is pretty cheap and a snap to do it yourself.
Rotate or Replace Your Tires
Driving in snow and ice is undeniably dangerous, and good tires can mean the difference between making it safely home and being knee deep in slush while frantically shoveling snow from under your car to get it unstuck. If your back tires are looking a little thin, make sure to rotate them. If both your tires are a little thin, get them replaced. As a rule of thumb, you should replace your tires if they have less than 4/32 of a inch of tread remaining.
Keep Snow Chains in Your Car
The best tip for driving in the snow is to make sure your tires can get traction. When you live somewhere where it snows, keeping a set of snow chains in your trunk is a must. It’s a smart move to practice putting your tire chains on your car before you actually have to put them on. Figuring out the intricacies of attaching snow tires is a lot easier on a clear day in front of your home than it is on the side of some strange road while your fingers are freezing off.
Do All Other Regular Maintenance
The most important driving tip of all also happens to be a universal driving tip. You should make sure that you are doing all of the other regular maintenance that you should be doing regardless of the season, like changing your oil, replacing your brake pads, etc. While all of these are important to do generally, they are doubly important during the witner.