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How to Get Your Car Ready for Cold Weather

Cold weather is hard on vehicles. Just like you wrap yourself in layers of clothing to protect yourself from the cold, your car also needs some preventive care to get it ready for cold weather. Here are some tips you can follow. 

Change to Winter Tires

Regular or all-season tires are not recommended for cold weather. The tread rubber of regular tire starts hardening as the temperature falls, and below 14°F, regular tires do not provide any traction performance and just roll over the snow like a hardened plastic ball. Winter tires are made of special rubber formulation that keeps the tread rubber soft even at low temperatures. Also, winter tires have a special tread design that gives good traction performance on snow-covered roads. 

Get New Windshield Wipers

Visibility in winter is a big issue. If you live in a region which receives moderate to heavy snowfall, you need to get new windshield wipers. According to auto experts, windshield wipers have a short life span — around six months. Worn out wiper blades do not make good contact with windshield surface and cause streaks leading to poor visibility. To be on the safe side, get new windshield wipers that will clear snow on the windshield effectively. 

Replace Burned Out Light Bulbs

The sun does not shine bright on snowy days and you will need to use your lights even during the daytime. You need to check all lights, including high beam lights, brake lights, taillights and fog lights. Replace burned-out bulbs and clean the light covers for bright illumination. 

Check the Heater and Defroster

Before the cold weather strikes, make sure your car heater is functioning properly. Clean the thermostat and remove any debris that is clogging the cooling system and the heater core. If the hoses are old and look dried out, they will shrink further in cold weather causing leaks. Get the old hoses replaced and make sure everything is flowing smoothly and there are no leaks. 

Check the Battery 

According to battery experts, your car’s battery efficiency is reduced with a drop in temperatures. During winter, the engine needs twice the current to start in comparison to summer or fall. Depending on how low the temperature gets, your battery can lose 60 percent efficiency and be incapable of providing enough current to start the engine. If the battery is older, its efficiency would be not at an optimal level. Hence, get your battery checked from a professional and get a new battery if the professional recommends it. 

Replace Dirty Air Filters 

Summer and fall seasons are hard on cabin filters. Pollens, bugs, dust, leaves and other dirt particles clog the pores of cabin air filters. Clogged air cabin filters can reduce defroster performance and make it hard for the driver to see clearly through the windshield.  If the air filter is clogged, it will also reduce the circulation of warm air in the cabin. To prevent heating problems from creeping up in winter, replace the cabin air filter before cold weather arrives

When you follow these preventive care tips, you will experience a hassle-free experience traveling in your car, even in extremely cold conditions. If you are not sure about how to perform preventive winter care, take your car to a garage for pre-winter service.