While it’s always important to take proper care of your automobile, winter driving poses a unique set of challenges to car maintenance. Today we thought we would take a look at some of these challenges, and offer some preventative tips that could keep your car running smoothly and safely all winter – while also keeping you from spending a fortune on unexpected repairs. Here are seven winter car maintenance tips:
1) Run a check on your battery, charging system, and belts
The last thing you want to happen is to get stranded on the side of the road in the cold because of an avoidable mechanical problem. If you have the know-how, run a self-check of your battery, charging system, and belts; otherwise bring it in to a mechanic you trust and pay what is charged for the checkup. Remember, anything you spend to prevent potential car troubles will be much less than what you might have to pay if things go bad while you’re out on the road.
2) Consider winter tires – and always check tire pressure
Did you know that tires lose a pound of pressure for every 10° decrease in temperature? Driving on tire pressure that is too low could be dangerous – and bad for your car besides. Winter tires with the right treads will also help you avoid skidding on wet and icy roads.
3) Replace your windshield wipers if you see any evidence of smearing
Snow, fog, rain, salt, gravel – the list of things that splatter their way onto your windshield in the winter is a long one. Keeping your windshield clear is a priority for safe winter driving, so make sure your windshield washer fluid is full, and your wipers are in tiptop shape.
4) Check your antifreeze
You need to make certain your antifreeze is going to be able to handle whatever cold air comes your way. Again, you can take the DIY approach on replacing antifreeze, or bring it in to a trusted mechanic.
5) Does your rear defroster work?
Did you know that police in certain states can give you a ticket if your rear window isn’t clear from the moment you hit the road? Make sure your rear defroster works before heading out on the highway!
6) Clear away all snow and ice from your car before driving
It may take a little time, but ensuring complete visibility from all windows and mirrors is worth it – not to mention that completely clearing your car of snow and ice will keep anything from sliding down and blocking your windshield visibility whenever you turn or slow down.
7) Go even slower than you think you should
Last but not least is a winter tip that will not only keep your car safe, but also, of course, its driver. Because no matter what vehicle you drive, and how prepared you are for winter driving, the roads are slick and treacherous come winter time, and even worse? – It’s not just about you, but the drivers around you who may certainly not be as careful as you are. So slow down, drive defensively and cautiously, and keep yourself out of harm’s way.
We hope we’ve given you some ideas on how to keep your car running safely and efficiently this winter, and wish you safe travels through the months ahead. And if you’re looking to purchase a new vehicle but are short of cash, or simply want to learn more about how you can sell your future structured settlement or annuity payments for money that can get to you sooner, call J.G. Wentworth anytime at 877-227-4713.