How To Prevent Your Car Safe, And From Getting Damaged During The Winter.
It has been a busy winter for us at Bolton Lawn Care! We have not seen this much snow in years. The amount of snow storms we saw in December and in January, so far, are unprecedented. It seems as if, at least once a week we are bracing ourselves for another snow storm. The frigid temperatures that accompany snow are can also be very problematic. Even some of our equipment has experienced a number of issues. The car battery on our truck has had a lot of trouble as of late. Sometimes the truck turns on right away, and sometimes it takes four of five turns. Consumer reports states that, “Your vehicle’s battery is especially hard hit when the mercury plummets. Cold temperatures reduce its cranking power. In fact, at about 0° F, a battery has only about half the cranking power it has at 80° F,”. So what can you do to make sure you car battery is working reliably, and will not fail you in a winter storm?
If you have a maintenance free battery, you will not need to check the fluid levels. If you have a regular battery, you should find plastic caps on top of the battery which you will need to remove in order to check the fluid levels. Add distilled water if the fluid levels are not at the correct level. Check your owner’s manual for the correct level if you are not sure, or research it online. In the case of our battery, which is getting old, we had to recharge the battery multiple times over the past few weeks. Batteries get worn out over extended use, so changing your battery may be necessary. We are in the process of getting a new battery for our truck.
Wiper Blade Condition
When is the last time you changed your wiper blades? If it has been more than six months, it may be time for an update. When you have periods of freezing temperatures, like we have been experiencing, your wiper blades will undergo an enormous amount of wear and tear. Most people will use their antifreeze and windshield wipers on their morning commute to help see. Avoid using your windshield wipers right away in the morning. We recommend turning your car on five to seven minutes before you leave for work so you can properly defrost your vehicle. Instead of using the antifreeze with frozen windshield wiper blades, use your car’s heating system to do the job. When the temperature is below freezing, windshield wipers can rip and break, leaving you in a bad situation if you get caught in a snow storm without working windshield wipers. Windshield wipers are also very easy to install.
Clearing Snow Off The Car
If you need to get to work on a snowy day before we have arrived for snow removal, make sure to clear the snow off of your car. As obvious as it may seem, a lot of people will forget to clear snow off the roof of the car in an effort to quickly get the snow off their windshield before rushing out of the house. When you slam on the breaks because someone has cut you off, all of the snow on the roof of your car is going to come avalanching down on your windshield, blinding your vision. This can be extremely dangerous! If you don’t have a snow removal tool, we strongly advise purchasing one. If you have never heard of the Snow Joe Broom, we recommend purchasing one. They are easy to store in your vehicle due to their compact size, but very effective for removing snow on your car without causing any damage to the glass or any surface for that matter.
Make sure that your windshield wash is full before going out on the roads. With all of the rock salt, dirt, mud, and black ice on the roads, the windshield of our cars will become filthy. This can also pose a driving hazard, so make sure that your windshield washer tank is full. In the winter, it is not a bad idea to switch from your normal windshield wiper fluid to a winter-blend with antifreeze in it.
Keeping Your Tires In Check
If you’ve been putting off getting new tires for the past few weeks or months, now is definitely an appropriate time to get them. Tires that are old and worn out will have a much more challenging time in the snow. Winter-grade tires are always more expensive this time of the year, but your life and your safety depends on having good tires in the snow. Unless you avoid driving in the snow all together, you’re going to need to be able to drive in snowy and icy conditions. Look online for highly rated sets of tires that perform well in the snow. You can also purchase all season tires which work best for our area, since we experience all seasons unlike states like Florida. Tire pressure will fall along with the temperature, so make sure to keep the tires properly inflated.
If you don’t already own one of these nifty little tools (pictured below), you should absolutely purchase one. These are called tire pressure gauges and can cost as little as $3. Every tire has two numbers that you should be aware of when adding air to your tires. The first is the maximum pressure. This will be engraved right on your tire and will be in the form of PSI. This is NOT the level at which you should inflate your tire. This is a common mistake many people unknowingly make. The maximum pressure level for a tire is much higher than what is called the operating pressure. Operating pressure can be found on the sticker of your driver’s side door. When you open your car, you will notice a yellow and white sticker on the side next to the seat. Here you will see your operating pressure level, which is the ideal level for driving in any weather. In the video below, the maximum tire pressure is listed at 44 PSI, while the operating pressure is listed at only 30. This difference is very significant, so make sure you are inflating your tires to the correct PSI.
Places like the Wawa in Colmar offer free tire air, so adding air to your tires is a very inexpensive way to make sure your car is running safe during the winter.