Americans drive over 13,476 miles per year. That’s over 1,000 mile per month. And while Americans usually drive less during the winter months (January – March), many of those miles are trekking through snow and ice and winter weather that can wreak havoc on a vehicle. Experts say that protecting a vehicle from the inside out is the best defense against winter weather.
According to DMV.org, while today’s vehicles are designed to handle inclement weather, drivers still need to take some basic steps to protect their vehicle before and during those colder months:
1. Check your fluids! Replace or refill if needed.
2. Check your tires! Are they winter-weather ready? Consider snow tires depending on where you live;
3. Thoroughly inspect battery, cables, terminals.
4. Pack an emergency kit that includes a flashlight, blanket, gloves, hat, cat litter, sand, ice scraper, small shovel and snacks;
5. Keep glycerin de-icer handy in case your locks freeze or you need to de-ice your windows and mirrors. It can also help if your locks get frozen.
The outside of your vehicle is often overlooked during colder months. However, it’s just as important to keep the outside clean and protected during cold weather as during warmer weather. AAA recommends taking the following steps to protect your car during these snowy winter months:
1. Wax your car before the winter months
2. Wash your car at least every 10-14 days during the snowy winter months and on the first snow-free day following a snow event if possible.
3. Don’t drive through deep snow. This can really pack into the undercarriage of your car;
4. Avoid large puddles of water. Steer around them if you can.
5. Seal your undercarriage to keep water and salt out.
If you haven’t taken time to safeguard your vehicle yet this winter, it’s not too late. Take time to perform basic maintenance checks and stow emergency supplies in your vehicle before you head out on your next road trip. And don’t ignore your car’s exterior finish just because it’s cold outside. Yourmechanic.com suggests washing your car once temperatures are in the upper 30’s or 40’s.