Making Sure Your Vehicle is Ready for Inclement Weather

As “superstorm” Sandy has taught us recently, inclement weather can come fast and hard. That is why it is essential to make sure that your vehicle is ready for inclement weather, no matter where you live. Tuning up your car every six months will not only keep your car in shape, it will also make sure that your car is ready for the seasons that come with the most inclement weather – i.e. winter and summer. Though summer can pose a lot of challenges to drivers, winter is by far the worst season to drive in. Snow storms and icy roads are only a few of the hazards that can present themselves to drivers during the winter. Winter driving conditions can also include limited vision and stop and go traffic. All of these elements combine; provide a good reason as to why you should always have your vehicle ready for inclement weather. Though it is recommended that you have your car tuned up every six months, this is not something that can be easily achieved for some. But there are a few telltale signs that your car needs to be tuned up in order for it to be ready for the coming inclement weather. Read on to see a few ways that you can prepare your car for inclement weather:

Tires
Your tires are an important part of your vehicle. They are especially important during the winter when roads can become treacherous. Winter weather can make roads slippery due to snowy, wet or icy conditions. If your tires are old and worn out they will not be able to grip the road as well, this could result in your car losing control.

Before winter, and the rough weather that is sometimes associated with it hits, it is important to make sure that your tire treads are roadworthy. One way to check your tire treads is to take a penny and place it between the treads with Lincoln’s head upside down. If part of the tread is covering Lincoln’s head then your tire treads should be fine. It should be noted that if your treads only cover a small portion of Lincoln’s head, then your tire treads are low and may need to be replaced. Another sign that your tires need to be replaced is if your car glides a lot when the brakes are applied while driving in slippery conditions. If this happens then don’t hesitate to have your tires replaced.

Defroster and Windshield Wiper Blades
Your defroster and wiper blades are essential during the winter. During periods of heavy snow they will help to ensure that your visibility is not impaired. Your defroster will be especially important if you keep your car outside during the winter as overnight your car will likely collect ice or frost on the windows.

If you think your defroster isn’t working check your air-conditioning system. If you don’t feel air coming from your dashboard – where the defroster air comes from – then you will need to have air-conditioning checked. If you see that your rear defroster isn’t working the best way to find out what the problem is to check the defroster’s circuitry. Rear defrosters work on circuits connected that heat up to remove anything from your rear window. If one of the circuits is disconnected or not working properly then you’ll need to have the system fixed.
To check that your windshield wipers are working properly, all you need to do is use them. If you hear squeaking or skipping sounds, it is a sign that your wipers will need to be replaced. Also, if you find that your wipers are not properly clearing your windows then they will also need to be replaced.

Lights
Your car’s lights are very important in the winter. During the winter the days get shorter and the nights get longer, making it necessary to use your car’s lights more frequently. If one of your car’s lights goes out then it is necessary to have it replaced. Winter weather can reduce visibility, especially at night. If you do not have proper visibility during the winter then the likelihood that you will be in an accident will greatly increase. The same can be said about your car’s break lights. If they are not working properly then those behind you will not be able to see when you are braking, which could result in an accident.

Winter can be an especially difficult time to drive, whether it is during small snow storms or more inclement weather. If your car is not ready for this weather, then you are not only putting yourself in danger, you are endangering others on the road. By preparing your car for inclement weather you will be able to safely enjoy the upcoming seasons.