How to protect your vehicle against harsh winter weather
With winter among us, the slippery roads are not the only problem facing truck drivers and commuters alike. In some areas of the country, freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on your vehicle. The blast of cold air when you leave the house in the morning is a reminder to us all that winter is here, and its important to make sure your vehicle is able to handle the freezing temperatures.
Key areas to inspect and maintain
The first area that should be checked on your vehicle is the coolant system. It is especially important to check the clamps and hoses for leaks as this could cause extensive damage when temperatures freeze. Next, obtain a sample of the engine coolant to check for any debris, and also make sure that it is maintaining its proper freeze point. Engine coolant is one of the most important aspects of the system, and its easy maintenance can prevent future costly repairs.
As many people have found out the hard way, colder temperatures make it difficult for batteries to hold a charge. This can and will lead to less power, often times not allowing the vehicle to start. Along with the inconvenience, the low charge also shortens the batteries lifespan. It is important to check the batteries from time to time to make sure the terminals are clean. If a battery is more than three years old, consider changing it as the winter months could cause problems. Periodically check the battery’s charge to make sure they are maintaining. These simple checks can help you avoid standing in the cold with a vehicle that won’t start.
Tires are often times overlooked during the winter months as some people feel they will be able to handle the slippery roads. Although most tires are meant to handle different types of conditions, specific winter tires may be a good idea for those who constantly travel in severe weather. The traction can be greatly improved, leading to safer travel for yourself and others around you. Tire chains are a fantastic addition to your vehicle in the winter months, and are even required in certain places. Consider purchasing a set for your vehicle, but make sure they are a proper fit before use.
Heating systems, washer fluid, oil and filters are just a few of the other areas to prepare and maintain over winter. Everything listed above is simple maintenance, but when done correctly, can greatly improve your vehicle’s condition throughout the cold months, while lessening your chance of trouble.
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