Winters are here and temperatures across the country have begun to dip. Fog and chilly winds have already kicked in, and are creating havoc on the roads due to low visibility. So how exactly should you prepare your car for winter? We tell you.
As the temperatures get colder, the oil within the engine starts to thicken. As the oil thickens, its ability to flow reduces, which means that it will take more time for the engine to be properly lubricated. So to keep your engine safe, you shouldn’t rev hard upon start up, especially in the cold.
Also make sure you don’t lug or load the engine excessively till for the first few minutes till everything settles down. Even if the engine is up to temperature, it doesn’t mean that the engine oil has reached optimum temperature, so give it a few minutes extra after the engine has come up to temperature.
If you are covering short distances, then it is advisable to make sure your engine heats up before you shut it down. Driving small distances and then shutting the engine is not very good for the life of the engine. Also make sure that the radiator has enough coolant as it is the coolant that helps the liquid in the radiator from freezing.
Since the batteries have to make sure that the engine cranks, winters are tougher on batteries. Why? We just mentioned that the oil in the engine thickens, which means turning the engine over becomes tougher and more effort is needed to crank the car. Also, the reactions that take place inside the battery occur at a slower rate. Hence, if your battery is weak, now is a good time to change it before it dies on you this winter.
Windshield washer fluid and wipers
Since when the weather is cold, chances of water and other dirt accumulating on the windscreen increases while driving since there is a lot of moisture in the air. Thus keeping your windshield washer fluid filled and the wiper blades in good shape will certainly make your life behind the wheel a lot easier.
During winters, the windows get fogged up very easily. This mainly happens due to the difference in temperature between the inside and outside of the car. Now to prevent fogging, you need to make sure that your car’s defogger is in proper working condition. There is also a home remedy to prevent fogging from happening, and that is to clean the windows using toothpaste. You can find a video of the same here:
Unlike what most people think, underinflated tyres are more dangerous than overinflated ones, especially if driving over longer distances. In winter, tyre pressures reduce with a drop in external temperatures. This means that you should get your tyre pressure checked more often to make sure you aren’t running on under inflated tyres.
Make sure all your lights (low beam, fog lamps, brake lights, indicators) are functional. As during winters, visibility drops, it is very important to make sure all lights are working properly, both to improve your visibility and to make sure you are visible to other road users. One more thing to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t drive on high beam in the fog. Instead use low beam and fog lamps.
In winters, especially in the northern region of the country, visibility drops due to fog. When the visibility drops, you should drive at a slower speed. It is better to reach your destination a few minutes later rather than not reaching it at all. If you find the visibility too low to drive, pull over to the side of the road and wait till it clears up. Also, put on your hazard lamps only if stationary.
Heading to a snowy place?
If you are planning to head to the hills to experience the snow, one thing you should invest in is snow chains. They provide better traction and grip on the slippery surface, thus allowing you to stay in control of your vehicle. Make sure you don’t go too fast though or accelerate and brake suddenly.
Also, depending on what layout your vehicle is, you will need snow chains accordingly for the number of driving wheels (2wd/4wd). Sizes of snow chains also vary so keep that in mind while purchasing one and make sure to try putting them on before you head out to the mountains.