Winter weather can be hard on your car. No matter what kind of car you have or where you live, winter temperatures and the other elements that come with winter (snow, ice, mud, sand and salt) can be extremely damaging to your vehicle. If you are not careful, you may find that winter weather drastically brings down the value of your car.
Use the following six tips to maintain your vehicle during the cold weather.
1. Have a Safety Kit
Safety should be a top priority in the winter in case you get stranded. Keep items in your kit like a compass, bag of salt, matches, a snow brush, an ice pick, a de-icer, non-perishable foods, scissors, blankets, a few flares and an emergency phone battery or charger.
2. Use Winter Tires
Winter tires can help you maintain 50 percent more traction than regular tires. Of course, these are only necessary if you live in an area where it snows frequently. The rest of the world can go without winter tires and will just have to drive more carefully in the rare event of snow or ice. Ice-resistance windshield wipers, however, are a good idea for any area of the world where temperatures fall below freezing more than once a year.
3. Maintain Your Vehicle
Have your car inspected. This is good to do before winter hits. Replace anything that needs replacing, and change the oil using a low-grade oil. Low-grade oils are safer and less likely to freeze in the cold. Have the mechanic change your car’s coolant as well. Half-water, half-coolant can prevent your system from corroding during the winter. Replace your air filter and anything else that could go wrong during the winter months.
4. Store With Care
Use a car cover if you plan to store your car outdoors. A waterproof cover will prevent snow and ice from getting on your car. When everyone else’s cars are covered in ice, you will be glad you used a cover. If you don’t have a cover, store your car away from trees and other coverings that could fall and break during an ice storm. Ideally, store your vehicle in a garage for maximum protection.
5. Wax Your Car
A coating of wax will help protect the finish on your vehicle. Wax will prevent scratches and rust damage and even make it harder for mud to stick to it. Some companies sell thicker wax specifically for use during the winter. If you can’t find this kind of wax, any wax coating is better than nothing.
6. Check Your Insurance
Nothing is worse than finding out that your insurance doesn’t cover something like damage from ice or snow in the winter. Always double-check your coverage to make sure you are covered for as many possibilities as possible. If you are lapsed on your insurance coverage, make sure you get up-to-date before any more winter storms hit.
When you follow these tips, you will find that winter is easier and kinder to your car. In some places with a lot of ice and snow, cars rarely last longer than 6 years due to the damage that winter can bring. However, with the right care, you will find that your car weathers the storm with ease.
About the author: Dan McCarthy is a car enthusiast blogging on behalf of Insurance Box.