The winter season is not very kind to machines. There is a risk of corrosion, fluids freezing, engine components failing and a host of other maladies that can often impair their performance. And as we are so dependent on them in our daily lives, it often becomes prudent to care for them when the mercury drops low. This is especially true for our automobiles.
For many of us, they are bread and butter for our daily routine, and if they malfunction, or in worse cases, stop running completely, it can spring up a lot of inconvenience for us at critical times. It is therefore imperative that we care for our cars and motorcycles especially if we live in an area that is prone to extreme swings in temperature. This article helps you achieve just that.
Don’t underestimate the HVAC
In layman’s terms, HVAC is simply your Heating, Ventilation, and Air conditioning unit in your car. In really low temperatures it pays to have a system that keeps you warm and the windshields defogged at all times while you go about your commute. Making sure that your HVAC is properly serviced goes a long way in making your car a comfortable place to be in during the snowy days
Get your engine warmed up before you set off
Whether it’s a petrol or a diesel vehicle, it is always imperative that you idle your engine for at least a minute before you set off. This ensures that the fluids and the oils have a proper opportunity to spread across the engine and ensure that the mechanical components don’t braze against each other. It goes a long way to ensure the life of your engine.
The battery is important too
Extreme low temperatures can cause weaker batteries to fail completely because of the chemical reactions inside them being hampered by the temperature. Its always a good idea to ensure that your battery is in good health for the winter so that you don’t get bogged down in crucial times. This is especially true if you have a diesel vehicle, which takes quite a while to warm up.
Use antifreeze gels for your fluids and fuel.
An automobile has a lot of fluids in its various components and in extremely low temperatures, they tend to freeze and that could cause your vehicle to stop functioning. A classic example is the coolant liquid, which runs in your radiator to cool the engine, but has a tendency to freeze in low temperatures. This also goes for diesel and windshield wiper fluids. You can buy antifreeze gels to ensure that these vital liquids don’t freeze into solid states.
Maintain your lights
Low visibility is a common add on package that you get along with the winter season. The winter fog, snowfall, rain and smoke can make visibility really constricted during the night. If you live in a region where fog and snowfall is a common occurrence, it would be wise to invest in some proper headlights and fog lamps. In most cases, a good pair of lights can mean the difference between life and death, and hence, should not be overlooked.
Keep your tire pressures in check
If your tires are filled with air, which is mostly the case, it’s a good idea to check for tire pressures every once in a while because of air contracts a lot during the cold and this could mean that your tires might lose pressure more often than necessary. It’s a good idea to keep monitoring the air pressure, and better still, have them filled with nitrogen. Nitrogen has a lower coefficient of expansion and contraction and hence is better suited for such scenarios.
Take care of your cold starts
If you have a vehicle that runs on petrol/gasoline, cold starts are not that big of a hindrance. But if it’s a diesel vehicle, cold starts in the morning can be a bit cumbersome. Many vehicles nowadays come with glow plugs fitted as standard, which ensure that the combustion chamber is properly heated before the car is started. If you don’t have a car with glow plugs, you may have to expose the engine bay to a whole lot of sunlight or use a heat gun to warm the engine block before you start the engine during sub-zero temperatures. This helps in avoiding the risk of the battery draining out.