Preparing the car for winter
Winter is approaching, the worst time for our car. We must do everything possible to prepare the car for this unpleasant time of the year. It should be done properly now or soon. You should not wait for the first snow and bitter frost. Only road workers work this way. Our cars are unique and you should take care of them in such a way that there are no problems with their operation at any time of the year.
Let's secure our cars for the next winter months to eliminate possible problems, which unfortunately arise very often when the temperature drops below zero.
Although many activities can be performed by ourselves checking the car before winter, the best solution is to take the car to a workshop for a general inspection. The costs vary depending on the services and the car, but we are sure that the professionals will check everything well, take care of the car and we will be safe during winter use.
We are not always able to cope with everything ourselves, sometimes we simply forget about some things, or we have no idea that something should be checked. Some things shouldn't be done alone either, due to the lack of specialized tools. It is about replacing summer tires with winter ones. There is no specific date when it should be done, preferably when the temperature at the hottest moment of the day drops below seven degrees Celsius. Then summer tires do not have good adhesion to the surface and it is time to change them. It is important not to do this on your own. Tire replacement should be performed by specialists. Acting on your own is only apparent saving, which can cost us a lot in the event of an accident. There is no doubt that the mechanics will change the tires, balance the wheels and guarantee our safety. As for winter tires that were used in the previous winter period, check that the tread is not damaged and the tread is not worn. A specialist will certainly assess whether the tires from the previous season are fit for use.
The next step that should be done in order to check the car before winter is checking the suspension, especially the shock absorbers. If they are to some extent defective or worn, it may have an impact on the braking distance and steerability of our car. In winter, when the roads are icy, it is especially dangerous. It's not worth the risk.
Another element of the car, which is extremely exposed to low temperatures in winter, is the brake system. Familiarize yourself with its general condition and the condition of its individual components. If the brake fluid has been changed relatively recently and there is still time to change it again, it does not hurt to check its condition. The same is true for the coolant. Although it should last for two years, it is worth checking its level before winter. The coolant loses its anti-freeze resistance over time and this can lead to very costly surprises in the form of a burst radiator or cracking of the engine block. These are small things that we often forget, and they have a very significant impact on the operation of the car and, of course, our safety. The engine requires absolute preparation for winter and you should invest in really good coolants that will guarantee its efficient operation. The cost of the fluid is small compared to the cost of engine repair, even several thousand zlotys. Of course, you also need to remember to use winter washer fluid, if we still have a lot of summer fluid in the tank, you can add winter washer fluid and it will prevent possible freezing.
The battery is another very important thing that needs to be checked before winter. In fact, it is the most cold-sensitive component in the car. Most often, it is because of him that the car cannot be started in winter. Low temperature affects the performance of our car. The current flow in the battery must be efficient, and in order to do so, all elements connecting the battery with other devices must be checked. Possible play and corrosion are checked, which could cause bad current flow, which results in a quick discharge of the battery, especially in winter. If the battery is on the verge of wearing out, it is worth investing in a new one before winter. If it is reasonably good, but has a tendency to discharge, it is also worth checking the alternator, which is to charge the battery. It often happens that this is the most common cause of problems with the proper operation of the battery, even a new one. During very severe frosts, it is worth taking the battery home, to a warm place. Thanks to this, it is guaranteed that it will not be discharged during an extremely frosty night.
Winter conditions greatly affect the operation of the entire car, all individual parts, components and systems. You have to think about everything, and the fact that fuels guarantee proper engine operation deserves attention. In each period, that is, summer, transition and winter, gas stations should provide us with fuel in accordance with the appropriate time and with the standards that define the composition of the fuel. Unfortunately, not all distributors comply with this, so it is best to refuel only at reputable stations that comply with the standards. Otherwise you may run into problems. Someone who has a car with a gasoline engine and does not refuel the so-called winter fuel with the appropriate composition may meet the freezing of water or steam in the fuel system. The problem is solved by adding denatured alcohol to the tank, which binds the water and prevents it from freezing.
A diesel car refueling in inappropriate places may also face more problems than a petrol car. In winter, paraffin hydrocarbons are added to such fuel, which increase the fuel's ability to self-ignite, but unfortunately cause its thickening at low temperatures, which prevents the engine from working properly. Depressants can be used to prevent this.
LPG also changes its composition in the winter, but here it does not really affect the engine and its work, but certainly our portfolio. In winter, LPG is usually more expensive than in other seasons.
Our cars are also equipped with small, inconspicuous elements that we usually do not pay attention to, which later affects the comfort and safety of driving. Before winter, it is worth replacing the wipers, preferably their entire blades. Worn-out rubber bands will not clean the car windows of dirt, but will only smear them, what is worse, such dirt will freeze at low temperatures, which will adversely affect the windows themselves.
Another element exposed to freezing and making life very difficult are the locks on the doors and the trunk of the car. Fortunately, you can deal with it efficiently using lock de-icers, which you should stock up on if you don't want to have a problem getting into the car after a frosty night. It will also be a good idea to apply a water-repellent agent to the zippers, which will displace water from the zipper elements, so that they will not freeze.
Very snowy and extremely cold winters sometimes force us to take additional security and facilities. One of them are the chains placed on the wheels, which increase their adhesion to the surface. It sometimes happens that it is not possible to install chains in a given car, if only because of the size of the rims or the tire profile, or the space between the wheel and the wheel arch. In this case, a good solution is to use the so-called wheel socks.
What are we talking about? These are linen covers that can be worn with full wheels. Their surface is usually covered with porous rubber or a strong mesh. This method may not be as effective as snow chains, but it does increase safety and make driving easier. In addition, if they break for any reason, the body and suspension will not be damaged, which is often the case with chains.
As you can see, preparing the car for winter is a series of activities, some of which are important to the other. A car prepared for winter is not only about changing tires. It involves a lot of checking the various elements and it is important to do this before the winter season. In this way, it will take care of the car, its proper and proper operation as well as our safety.