Long nights, short days and colder weather can mean only one thing; winter is approaching. While there are many great things to embrace about the winter months, such as the holidays, warm fires and the appreciation of summer, it is also a time to ramp up your personal safety.
These cold months can bring rain, sleet, hail and snow, which can mean trouble for many drivers, especially if your car isn’t prepared. It’s always important to stay safe on the roads, but during winter you should take some extra precautions.
Due to icy, wet roads and more time spent driving in the dark, wintertime traffic and road conditions can be horrendous. In fact, over 116,000 Americans sustain injuries due to winter weather-related accidents each year – and that’s just the accidents that are on record.
With that said, checking your car is safe to drive during the winter can greatly reduce your chances of having an accident, as well as maintaining the condition of your vehicle. So Dentless Touch has you covered, with a five-point checklist for your car this winter, and a printable info graphic for you to hand out to those you care about.
Checklist For Winter:
Tires can be an easily overlooked safety factor when it comes to checking your vehicle for winter-readiness. Due to the cost involved in replacing tires, some may choose to ignore any issues with them until they can comfortably afford replacements. However, much greater costs can be incurred through neglecting your tires in winter, in addition to endangering yourself and others. Checking that your tires have plenty of tread on them, are in good condition and are inflated to the correct PSI can go a long way to ensuring your vehicle stays on the road, and you don’t have to fork out money on repairs that could have been prevented.
There are few things worse than a dirty windscreen. While flies and other bugs can be a nuisance in summer, they’re not quite as serious as the build up that poor weather can cause. With wet roads being a prominent feature of wintertime, dirt and salt can end up coating your windscreen. A layer of dirt and salt can quickly obstruct your view of the road if you’re unable to clean it, and so it’s important that you keep windscreen wiper fluid topped up generously during the winter months. Remember to check the concentration required on the back of the bottle, as recommended ratios can vary with different temperatures.
An overheated engine can burn off oil and cause itself to seize. While water can usually do the trick in cooling a hot engine as a last resort, there’s not a lot it can do when cold weather has caused it to freeze. To avoid some very expensive and time-consuming problems with your car, adding anti-freeze is the way to go. Anti-freeze does exactly what it says on the tin, and prevents the water within your vehicle’s system from freezing, keeping both you and your engine happy. While not necessary, it’s a good idea to keep your engine topped up with anti-freeze throughout the year. As you never know when temperatures might drop.
Vehicle paintwork can take a serious battering in the colder months. Wet roads can cause debris from the road to hurl their selves at your vehicle, which can sometimes scratch your paintwork. Road salt can stain and scratch your vehicle, and oxidization can make your paintwork dull and patchy during wintertime. So it’s a good idea to give your car some paint protection. Paint protection is basically a cheap way to ensure the quality of your paintwork over winter. It can be quickly and easily applied following a good car wash and keeps your vehicle looking sharp.
Winter brings an increase in illnesses, dangerous road conditions, operational issues with various things, and generally a heightened risk of emergencies. So by carrying a kit for use in general emergencies, not only will you be well prepared to look after your own well being, you could also assist others in need. A few things you could include are a first aid kit, warm and reflective clothing, flares, and a sand shovel. It is also handy to carry a bottle of water and some high-energy snack bars, as you never know how remote you could end up in some emergency situations.
To conclude our five points, you should: check your tire condition, make sure there is plenty of tread, no obvious issues, and your tires are inflated correctly. Check that your wiper fluid is topped up appropriately, and using the right ratio to avoid it freezing. Check that your vehicle has a suitable amount of anti-freeze to avoid any engine problems. Give your car some paint protection to avoid scratches and other issues caused by the weather, and pack an emergency kit to stay prepared for worst-case scenarios.
By checking each of these areas, you should be able to ensure that your car is fit for driving on the roads this winter. If you find that your car is inadequate in some of these areas, make sure you carry out the suggested fix before driving in dangerous conditions.
Not only could a fix in these areas save you money on some potentially expensive repairs, it could save yours, or somebody else’s life. You should be able to pick up everything you need from your local auto store, with the exception of new tires, which should be fitted professionally.
Feel free to print the info graphic provided to give to your friends or loved ones; post on work notice boards, or simply to keep as a reminder for yourself. From all of us here at Dentless Touch, we hope all our customers stay safe this winter. While we hope this advice helps people avoid any accidents, in the event that you may require a dent removal / bumper work, remember that we offer a lifetime guarantee with 100% satisfaction!