Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Winter Wonder-ride: Is Your Car Winter-Ready?

Cars in general are there to provide convenience in getting us from point A to point B. However, it seems that it’s not merely the case during winter season. And for some, this convenience can easily turn into sheer disaster, as their cars usually experience the worst case of winter-related car breakdowns.

In most cases, drivers and motorists tend to take car winterization for granted. That’s why bad riding experience happens. To be able for you to maintain not only the performance of your whip, but also to retain its handsome looks for the upcoming winter season, here are some useful “to-dos”:

Tune Up

This includes checking the oil’s viscosity and condition. If the oil’s color has gone from bright amber (red, orange or green for some) to dark brown/black, that’s your indication that you should drain your motor oil. In addition, as part of the tune up, inspect the spark plugs, timing belts, braking system, and tubes. If you see leaks and other damages, it is highly recommended to call a mechanic for immediate repair.

Inspect your Tire’s Condition

One major factor of winter-related accidents is worn or wrong set of tires. Tires have different specifications in terms of use. Using the wrong set of tires during winter may compromise the car’s handling and braking. More so, worn out tires could do much worse, so make sure to install the right tires, especially for this slippery-icy season. Moreover, 4WDs have this specific function to improve traction, handling and overall driving performance during harsh conditions.

Check and Put Ample Amount of Antifreeze to your Radiator

In most cases of engine breakdowns are radiator-related causes. This is either due to overheating or too cold to function. This is where antifreeze comes in handy. Antifreeze or radiator coolant serves as your engine’s thermostat. It keeps the water to stay fluid from your radiator during cold season, while maintaining its “cool” when operating at high temperatures during summer. To ensure efficiency, make sure to mix 50% of antifreeze and the other 50% is clean distilled water.

Battery Charge

Winter season is notorious for killing off battery’s power, so it’s better to check its charge religiously and inspect the terminals for possible corrosion. In relation to this, when starting a car during cold season (especially for diesel-powered vehicles), it is best to let the engine warm up a bit to be able for the battery to recharge. If the installed battery is 3 or 4 years max, replacement is in dire need. And as an assurance, keep a set of jump cable and a charging pack in your back compartment in case you need a quick jumpstart.

Apply Wax/Winter Sealant to your Car’s Body

Cosmetics-wise, your car’s number one enemy is road salt (sodium chloride + magnesium chloride), while the actual snow is just number two. This de-snowing method may be helpful in de-icing roadways, but it is also infamous for degrading your car’s paint and underbody. As a solution, make it a point to wash your vehicle regularly with soapy warm water, then dry. If you happen to own a power washer, this will be useful in flushing off salt residue and buildup underneath the car’s body/chassis. Next is to apply wax and/or winter sealant to maintain its glossy look.

Make some Room for Your Car in the Garage

And during this coming winter, using your garage as an “actual” car garage will be a big help in maintaining the mint condition of your ride. As an added protection, cloak it with your trusty car cover to shield it against dust, excess water, snow and other particles that may degrade your handsome heap’s overall cosmetics.

Got any other “cool” ideas on how to winterize your car? Let’s discuss by leaving a comment below!


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