Old Man Winter versus your vehicle
Old man winter is coming. So it’s a very smart idea to start preparing for the bitter cold and expect the unexpected.
One more thing to note is the effects of salt at the end of winter. After the cold has come and gone you still have a lot of that salty sticky mess left on the bottom of your vehicle and that can seriously rust out your car. So before winter starts it’s a good idea to add some underbody oil prewinter treatment. Another thing you can do is to apply some wax to your car also. And finally wash your vehicle after the snow. Have a spray component to your car or car wash. And avoid puddles and plow trucks. If you do this then you can avoid a big mess and a lot of costly repair bills as the years roll on.
Another thing to note is the difference between high mileage and synthetic oils.
High Mileage vs Synthetic Oils
According to Pep Boys if you have a vehicle over 75,000 miles you can find some special oil that helps prevent oil evaporation which is also called burn-off. Older vehicles can use this type of vehicle while the ones that are high-performance and have high-mileage may want to consider a synthetic oil.
The benefits of a synthetic oil is that it helps clean out a lot of your deposits that happen in your car when your oils are being burnt off.
Do know that depending on the age of your vehicle you might be better off using conventional oil because the high-mileage and synthetics can definitely be more costly and not worth the extra cost.
Illumination & Lights
Some things to prepare for your vehicle especially if you are in a snowy region is to have a back up set of lights. Whether that means some back out car bulbs, flashlights or repairing your headlights so they work at their optimum it will save from the inconvenience of doing it when the weather temperatures drops and it gets unbearable having to do it outdoors.
Make sure you have some antifreeze component to keep the engine from freezing temperatures. Check to make sure you have enough and that there are no leaks and you have a proper mix in any reservoirs or radiators that need it.
This is one of the most crucial components to getting your car started and often has the highest points of failure when the weather drops. While a battery might show as less powerful and weak in the summer, it can absolutely die and show a nonworking charge come winter. Make sure to do battery volt tests and see if everything is working or get a replacement so you don’t have to be left out in the cold and asking for someone to jump your car.
Check your tires to make sure you have the proper tires. You may need winter tires and adding on necessary additions when the weather is normally below a certain temperature. This can help your navigability and traction control especially when slippery ice and snow coat the pavement. Make sure they are inflated properly and also check tire pressure. Cold air tends to cause tires to go flatter so you might have tread separation, wear and other problems that could lead to a random accident on the road. Check them at your local gas station or using a tire pressure gauge or at your local service repair shop.
Make sure you are topped up in the winter. This includes gas and washer fluids because a low level of tank may not be as effective to keep things from freezing and having plenty of gas can be used to keep the car running if you get stuck and need to get help. Also it’s a good idea to have washer fluid because it can help clear your windshield especially if its the kind that deices in the winter. Speaking of a running engine, it’s immensely helpful to carry a few extra blankets or clothes or shoes in the car in case you need to get somewhere in an emergency or bunker down and make a shelter in your car for a period of time.
Defroster and AC/Heat controls
Make sure your defroster and temperature, heat and defogger controls still work.
Make sure you have wipers and replacements for them.Inevitably the wipers often get frozen and break in the winter and you often have to buy a new set. Often wiperblades last about a year.
Bug-out bag (BOB)
This is a portable kit that allows anyone to survive for 72 hours if you have to evacuate from a disaster. Sometimes the length of time can be longer. Basically it’s an emergency kit on the go. This term was used when you have to quickly get out and go on minimal bare necessity supplies. You can also call it a “get me home” kit. You should have just enough water, shoes, basic map (that works even in the even of no batteries or electricity), food, and clothing for bad weather.
Some ideas for this include:
- Non-perishable food
- Water purification
- Cooking items & foil
- First aid
- Extra clothes
- Fire starter
- Maps / Compass
- Bed items / Space blanket
- Medicine & sanitation including napkins
- Signalling device
- Wire & rope
- Hunting equipment
See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Essentials and https://www.downeasttoyota.com/blog/how-to-prevent-rust-from-road-salt-in-the-winter/