Winter can be an incredibly dangerous time of year for your vehicle. The elements that abound during this time of year can be quite harsh, depending on what region you live in and how bad it gets there. There are a wide variety of damages to your vehicle that can be caused by these seasonal threats. These damages can be quite expensive to fix if you’re not careful. That’s why it is extremely important that you don’t let them happen, in the first place. Here are some tips on how to protect your car during the winter season…
Always Keep an Emergency Kit, On-Hand
During the winter, you want to be prepared for anything that might happen. So the first thing that you want to think about doing is putting together a kit of items that you might need in the winter. This list might include jumper cables, a flashlight, and a small, but sturdy, shovel. You also need to have an appropriate tool kit. A good basic tool kit should include an adjustable wrench, a socket set, pliers, screwdrivers, a good knife, and electrical tape.
You also want to have basic survival gear in there, as well, such as several gallons of water, some non-perishable food, blankets, and sleeping bags. Even flares are a big thing that you should probably include. This might seem silly, but an emergency kit is about the off-chance that something happens. Of course, you should also have a good first aid kit, and even some tools to start a fire, should you need them.
Use the Right Tires
Tires are the connection between your vehicle and the road that you are driving on. During the winter season, snow can come along and complicate this connection. For this reason, it’s important to make sure that you have winter tires at the ready. Modern winter tires give you loads more control in the ice and snow. The difference is absolutely extraordinary. Winter tires tend to operate best when the temperature drops below 40 degrees, due to the chemical process used to create the rubber that is used in them. This is called the ‘glass transition temperature’. All-season tires will perform very poorly at this temperature.
Make sure that you have enough tread on these tires before winter starts. Generally, you can do a “penny test” where you make sure that the depth of your tread at least spans the width of a penny. Having proper tires keeps you and your passengers safe. If you drive on poor tires, you are putting you, and everyone on the road, in danger. The increased control of braking and handling that you get when using winter tires cannot be understated.
As another note, remember that you can protect your tires and the power train of your vehicle by applying weather-proofing coats to the rims and other components of your vehicle. The preferred way to do this is powder coating.