As the temperature drops and frozen water starts falling from the sky and black ice threatens to form on the roads, it’s vital to keep your car in top form. The last thing you want as the mercury plummets is to find yourself stranded with a dead battery, or waiting on the side of the road wondering when your windows will defrost.
Check your Battery
Car batteries are especially vulnerable with the temperature starts to fall. The lower the temperature the less efficiently the batter runs, and at anything below freezing the batter starts losing cranking power. Start by checking the fluid levels. If low, add some distilled water. If your battery is over five years old it could be time to consider replacing it. A weary old battery may be good to go after a healthy charge up, but after a certain point simply replacing it is your safest bet. A dead battery is a dead car.
Check your Windows
Windscreen wipers need to be regularly replaced. Even the best wiper blades can start to lose their effectiveness in just six months. It’s recommended to get them replaced twice a year. On an icy morning, the windows themselves are what you need to be concerned about. The wipers won’t be enough to remove ice that’s built up over night, try an ice scraper or cold water. Don’t try hot water though, unless you want to be left with smashed windows.
Check your Tires
The roads are more dangerous during the winter. With risks from snow, black ice, roads that never dry out since the sun doesn’t reach high enough anymore, it’s vital to have tires in good condition. The last thing you want is to lose control and find yourself and your cars worn out tires stuck in a ditch. If you’ve been thinking about getting a new set, now is the time. Especially if you’re planning to visit any of New Zealand’s snowier locales, don’t head out to Tongariro or Wanaka without checking the tires.
If you live in an area that sees a lot of snow, or you’re intending to spend a lot of time driving to and from ski slopes, it may be worthwhile investing in a set of chain. The longevity of your car and the safety of everyone on the road are worth the effort.
Blog by Leticia Philip.