Posted by James Dudra on February 09, 2014
Winter is a tough time on both you and your car. Snow, sleet and ice take their toll on every inch of your car's interior and exterior surfaces. If you're not prepared, driving can quickly become a hazardous experience. We've put together our top winter car care tips to ensure you stay safe on the roads this winter.
Have the Right Tires
Snow tires are one of the most critical factors in safe winter driving. You want to ensure that you have at least 6/32" of tire tread remaining. An easy way to check to see if they are suitable is to do the "penny test". Place a penny into the tread grooves along the tire. If the top of the Lincoln Memorial is always covered by the tread, you have more than 6/32" of tire tread remaining and are good to go. Otherwise, you'll definitely want to consider making a switch to a new set of tires.
Change Out Wiper Fluid
Another common mistake people make is forgetting to change over their wiper fluid. You'll want to change from a summer blend to a winter blend. Winter wiper fluids contain higher levels of alcohol or methanol which will prevent freezing as you're cleaning the windshield.
Even if you have the best windshield fluid in the world, you need to have wipers that work properly. As a general rule of thumb, wipers should be changed out every six months. Do a quick test at home to make sure they aren't stuttering or streaking while wiping.
Check the Battery
Freezing weather is notoriously difficult on your battery. During your next tune-up, have a trusted mechanic test the battery levels to ensure it is fully charged. There is nothing worse than being stuck in a parking lot on a -10 degree day!
Restore Your Headlights
Old or aged headlights can lose up to 80% of their effectiveness if not properly cared for. If you notice a yellowish hue on your headlights, it probably means it's time for a restoration. There are many DIY kits in major retailers which will allow you to clean off any oxidation and get them back to new.
Put on a Coat
Be sure to apply a high-quality car wax or sealant in the autumn months to give your vehicle maximum protection from the elements. Waxes will enable beading during wet weather which will not only keep your car cleaner, but also prevent degradation of the paint from salt or other contaminants on the road.