The top 15 winter vehicle maintenance include:
- Remove fall leftovers
- Inspect the tires
- Inspect the windshield wipers
- Check the battery
- Inspect underneath the vehicle
- Take care of corrosion
- Inspect the coolant level
- Top off the washer fluid
- Inspect the tire pressure
- Consider a Survival kit
- Inspect and wax the lights
- Inspect the heating system
- Look for any signs of internal problems
- Consider winter accessories
- Think of a remote starter
With winter approaching very soon, we must take a closer look at our vehicles and confirm that they are ready to face the coming winter, especially if you live in areas where winter is extremely harsh.
There are plenty of things that can go wrong in winter, and many people know how challenging it is to deal with difficulty starting or probably book broken components during winter when you're ready to start your day.
Automotive experts put together a list of winter vehicle maintenance that you must keep up with to prepare for the coming winter and enjoy the season without any major car breakdowns. Let's take a closer look at the list below!
Winter vehicle maintenance
Many of us are familiar with battery problems that could lead to challenges in our day join winter mornings. However, many other things can go wrong in the winter season; therefore, don't limit your maintenance to keep up with the battery but also consider the following elements:
1- Remove fall leftovers
Your driveways and your vehicle collect a lot of leaves and debris during the fall season. Therefore, as you're approaching winter, you must get rid of any fall leftovers.
You can use any possible tool to remove and clean up your vehicle's exterior and interior. As you clean, go thoroughly and look in inaccessible areas like the sunroof and the windshield's hidden locations.
By thoroughly cleaning up your vehicle from fall leftovers, you prevent corrosion and other damages that could impact your vehicle and your driving experience in the winter season.
2- Inspect the tires
Depending on how harsh winteris, you might want to consider replacing your vehicle's tires. Some people living in areas where winter is extremely harsh prefer to switch to winter tires.
These tires are designed in a way that withstands the slippery icy or snowy road and maintains a smooth ride without any hazardous risks of slipping or getting involved in major car accidents.
However, you don't necessarily need to switch to winter tires if winter doesn't require them. In other words, if you are maintenance depends on your region, all you need to do could be to ensure that the tires are in good condition and inflated properly.
It is important to note that your tire pressure should be different in winter than summer because, in winter, it is expected to shrink, which means you'll need to inflate the tires a little bit more than what you used to have in summer.
Also, look at the tire walls and confirm no cracks or signs of premature damages that indicate that you need to install new tires. Remember that you cannot install one tire if it has a problem because you might want to replace two tires on the same axle or probably the four tires depending on your vehicle’s manufacturer.
3- Inspect the windshield wipers
The windshield wipers can be extremely handy in the harsh winter season. You will rely on them heavily to remove snow or probably ice in some instances. Therefore, consider taking a closer look at the windshield wipers and replacing them with stronger ones that could withstand the winter season.
The windshield wipers might be broken, or the rubber component might be completely damaged. Therefore, before you head to the winter season, consider removing the replaceable part, which is not very expensive and it's something that you can do by yourself without needing a mechanic.
4- Check the battery
The vehicle's battery is one of the most common components that could go wrong in winter. Therefore, look at the battery and perform a visual inspection to confirm that it's in good condition.
For example, if you realize that the battery's shape is not as it used to be, it might indicate internal problems. Also, the battery terminals and cables should be corrosion-free, which means that you might need to clean them up if they have some rust or corrosion buildup.
Remember that if the battery terminals and cables are broken, you cannot clean them up, and you should leave them to professionals because this could cause safety issues.
Aside from performing a visual inspection, you might want to review the expiration date for your vehicle’s battery. Even if the battery doesn't look bad, it might be close to the end of its life if it's about three to five years old. Therefore, install a new battery rather than dealing with sudden breakdowns in the winter, especially since the battery cost is not very high.
5- Inspect underneath the vehicle
If you're driving a modern car, the bottom of your vehicle might be equipped with some vulnerable components that are expected to get damaged more than others. Therefore, take a closer look at the bottom of the vehicle and check all these hanging components to confirm that they are in good condition.
6- Take care of corrosion
If you realize that there are some signs of early corrosion, you must take care of it immediately. Controlling corrosion helps extend the lifetime of your vehicle and prevents major rust and corrosion that might not be repairable.
There are many commercial products that you can use to control and take care of any initial signs of rust. Some other ones are more targeting major rust that you can try to take them the lifetime of your car without needing a mechanic.
7- Inspect the coolant level
Your engine needs a specific amount of coolant to cool down when its temperature exceeds a maximum threshold. Most of us think that engine overheating problems are common in summer, but they are, in fact, very common in winter.
Your engine must operate within a certain temperature threshold. If it exceeds the maximum threshold, you can deal with immediate engine catastrophic outcomes that could cost you thousands of dollars in no time.
Thus, confirm that you have the optimum coolant level and inspect the vehicle to confirm no signs of coolant leaks. If you have any internal or external leaks, you must take care of them immediately before dealing with major complications.
8- Top off the washer fluid
While it's critical to replace the windshield wiper, checking the washer fluid is also important. There are plenty of available windshield washer fluids in the market that you can choose from. For example, you can buy a windshield washer fluid designed specifically for winter, which takes care of any frozen windshields or ice.
However, you mustn't necessarily go with the winter washer fluid, especially if it's more expensive. There are many old-season types of fluids that you can choose from. The whole idea. It is to maintain the optimum washer fluid level in your reservoir and ensure that this fluid will not freeze when the temperature drops significantly.
9- Inspect the tire pressure
As we indicated earlier, aside from choosing between winter tires or regular tires, you should maintain the optimum tire pressure that suits your winter season.
10- Consider a Survival kit
Even if you're not driving for longer distances, having a Survival kit can be extremely handy. This kit should not necessarily be only food, but also it should have some small elements that you will need to maintain your vehicle and get it out of tough situations.
Many articles highlight what to include in your Survival kit, but for example, consider having a jump cable, a flashlight, water bottles, etc.
11- Inspect and wax the lights
The Winter season is known for the darker weather, which means that visibility might be a big challenge to many drivers. Therefore, it might be the right time now to inspect the lights and wax them if necessary. Your vehicle's lights and lenses get yellower over time of use, and therefore, by performing quick wax or clean-up, you achieve better visibility.
12- Inspect the heating system
The heating system will be a very critical component in your vehicle. Therefore, the last thing you want to deal with is not driving to your work or office because the heating system is not working properly. Therefore, it might be the best time now to perform a thorough inspection and confirm that all internal components are working properly in your heating system.
13- Look for any signs of internal problems
Our vehicles are very smart, and when there are some issues internally, your vehicle will show some symptoms to grab your attention and resolve the issue. For example, you might hear some weird noises or probably smell some strange smells from your car.
Whenever you notice any weird symptom, you must take it seriously and resolve the problem immediately. Obviously, before heading to the winter season, you want to make sure that you take care of all potential problems your vehicle is suffering from because these problems are expected to get more complicated when the temperature drops significantly.
14- Consider winter accessories
If you're not driving a modern car, you might be missing some of the amazing features like heated seats or other features. The good news is that there are many aftermarket products that you can use and install in your vehicle to achieve a very modern vehicle feeling.
For example, you might want to purchase additional accessories like those heating the seat or probably heating the steering wheel. You will thank the product so much when you get into the car and don't must deal with the extremely cold steering wheel or seat!
15- Think of a remote starter
Another great feature to add to your vehicle is remote starting. Many of us might be driving vehicles that do not have this feature. Therefore, it might be worth investing a little bit in upgrading your vehicle key and having a feature that allows you to start the vehicle remotely. Hence, you get into the vehicle when it's completely warmed up.
Winter vehicle maintenance: Final thoughts
Winter is a common season for major car breakdowns. It's not rare to see many people pulling over on the highway dealing with difficulty starting their vehicles or sudden issues. Therefore, to prevent yourself from being with those people, you must perform common winter vehicle maintenance.
This article walked you through a list of the common winter vehicle maintenance you should implement, including taking care of the low fluids, inspecting the tires, inspecting the windshield wipers, etc. In addition, some other optional elements might improve your winter driving experience, like considering a remote starter or probably heated seat accessories.
It is critical to note that if your vehicle has major problems, it might not serve you during the winter season. Therefore, now could be the best time to sell your damaged car and use its money to buy a better vehicle that helps you go through the winter without any complications.
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