16 November, 2018
With the winter fast approaching, it is but natural that you may be slowly taking out the stored woolens, and looking up a few soup recipes and so on. You may also be taking special care of your skin and the joints. However, apart from our homes and body, our vehicles too need some special attention in the winter. It is not uncommon for your car to give up on you early in the morning when you are trying to get somewhere in an urgency. However, if you follow a few simple steps, you may be able to get through this winter without any hassles.
Please check when your car was serviced last and if it was more than one or two months back, then perhaps it's best to get it serviced once thoroughly before the winter fully sets in. And when you give it for servicing, tell the service providers to check it for the winter issues specifically.
For example, the car battery is one important item to be checked in this service. In winter, the charge drops fast and also does not get recharged fast. If the mechanic finds any issue with the battery, discuss it out and replace it, if required to avoid constant hassles with the car through the winter. If not, they should be appropriately maintained throughout winter to have beautiful, safe drives.
Most often, we understand that the car engine has frozen up and hence won’t start ASAP in the cold winter mornings. People usually try and get the engine on and then keep it running for a few minutes to get it warm. You may have even seen people lighting fires under the engine to warm it up fast. It is the engine oil that has gone cold and whatever you do, it will take time a few minutes to get to a regular running position. The best solution is to keep driving, but not too fast for the first few kilometers, and not just keep it running idle. The engine has to be thoroughly checked by the mechanic for the engine coolant issues, antifreeze levels, drive belts, clamps, hoses, etc. Anyone part in there not in good condition can give you more troubles in the winter.
Check your lights, or ask the mechanic to do so, if you are getting it serviced. The winter fog can make it really difficult to drive, especially early morning or late evening, of the headlights and tail-lights malfunction. This is as much for your safety as that of others on the road, while driving. Any doubtful bulbs should be replaced.
The other important part of the car that we usually ignore except in monsoon is the wiper. In winter, if fog sets in, you will need the wipers to get your windshield cleaned properly. Also, if you take long drives, you may need to use it in between to ensure that vision is proper and safe, avoiding any accidents. If there is an issue, wipers can be replaced. You can even use the AC to warm up the insides and remove the mists from the windshield, in case the wipers are not working correctly. The AC can dry out the mist from inside the car. You may even use a rag to wipe it out. It is considered a good practice to replace wipers just before winter.
The rubber beadings of the car doors and windows can get stiff, and hard and can even crack during the winters. This could mean that that vehicle is susceptible to seepages, leading to further damage inside. You may choose to use some silicone products on these parts, and even on the engine belts and hoses to keep them soft throughout.
Tires and brakes
Tires are another area that can give you trouble during winters, especially if you live in parts where it snows. Maintaining right tire pressures are significant for traction. Get them checked for any inconsistencies and do the needful to stay safe. Also, brakes need to be checked and replaced if required.
Winter weather combined with rising pollution can wreak havoc in the car paint. Hence, they should be washed and waxed frequently to protect them, especially if they are parked in the open.
Despite all the care, it is possible that something may go wrong somewhere. Hence, if you are traveling long distances in the harsh winter prone areas, please carry an emergency kit in the car like adequate food and water, enough woolen clothes and a blanket, phone and charger, flashlight and your emergency medicines, if any. Keep the contact numbers of the roadside assistance of your car manufacturer ready, just in case, you need help or towing.
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