Winter is coming and, according to experts, it’s going to be cooler than most. Meteorologists have announced that this year’s winter will be cooler and moister in the northern parts of the United States because of La Niña. Aside from the heating and supply problems such weather inevitably brings, both these conditions can wreak havoc on your motorized vehicles. Every vehicle, from trucks to motorcycles will be at higher risk of rusting or developing other problems in the cold months ahead.
Constant car maintenance is essential if you want to preserve their integrity, but your preparations shouldn’t stop with your vehicle. You should also prepare your garage for the winter weather. Below are some tips you can use to ensure your vehicles and your garage are ready for the cold months ahead.
Preparing Your Vehicle
Vehicles are wondrous achievements in engineering, but they are very susceptible to weather damage, particularly extreme temperatures. Here are some ways you can make vehicle maintenance easier during winter.
Stock Up on Parts
Traveling through inches of snowfall will be impossible and you may find yourself needing to replace car parts in the middle of winter despite all your preparation. Make sure you have enough spare parts in your garage so you can replace them without calling a towing service. For example, an overhaul kit for DD15 engines is ideal when you need to improve your vehicle in a hurry. Other parts you should stock up on include spare tires, batteries and windshield wipers for cold weather.
Check the Battery
Cold weather can drain your battery slowly but surely and you don’t want your car to suddenly stall in the middle of heavy snowfall. Before the cold snap hits, check your car battery’s charge. Routinely do so through the winter and regularly start the engine to give it some juice.
Buy Snow Tires
Car accidents are more likely to happen during winter because of slippery roads. Unless you want to total your car just driving to get some supplies, you should already be purchasing snow tires in case you need to drive in such conditions. Remember that cars on snow tires consume more gas and only switch to snow tires if you routinely drive in snowfalls and flurries.
The cold weather can also freeze your car’s fluids, rendering your vehicle inoperable if you’re not careful. The moment the weather starts getting chilly, you should already be replacing the fluids with versions laced with antifreeze and similar chemicals. This will ensure your car can safely run and you don’t have frozen pipes.
Preparing the Garage
The garage isn’t just a place where you store your car. It’s also routinely home to tools and other essential items to make it through the winter. Readying for the cold weather is important to the integrity of your vehicle and your property.
Repair Doors and Windows
Your garage doors and windows are ideal points of entry for freezing drafts. Each unsealed window and warp on your garage door will decrease the temperature inside, potentially lowering it to freezing and crippling your vehicle. Check them all for insulation and damage and replace as soon as possible to increase your garage’s weather proofing.
You should also move any liquids that might freeze inside the house. These include fuel, paints and assorted fluids. Doing so can preserve their chemical integrity. Just make sure you put them in secure locations where the fumes won’t harm anyone and far from any sources of ignition.
Your garage doors and windows aren’t the only ones that can jeopardize your garage’s integrity. Miniscule cracks in the walls and even the floor can let in cold air and moisture. These can rust your vehicle’s undercarriage and damage the rest of your garage. Whips out a tube of expanding foam or caulk and start sealing these errant cracks.
Winter is always an exacting time for everyone but you can make it easier on yourself by preparing well in advance. You’ll be thankful for ensuring your car and garage are prepared for the cold and snow if an emergency happens in the dark, cold months.