Whether you are heading off for a ski adventure, New Year's celebration, a family visit, traveling during the winter season can be exciting. While surprising to learn, an estimated 107.3 million people may travel during the upcoming holiday season. Driving to your destination can be fun, but without proper care of your vehicle, traveling during the winter season can become dangerous. Before you head out on your trip this winter, consider these crucial tasks to ensure your vehicle will operate in a safe, reliable manner.
Your tires are one of the most important areas to focus on when driving your vehicle during the upcoming winter season. If your tires are lacking sufficient tread, they will not be able to grip the road, decreasing your ability to handle the vehicle in slick, icy, and snowy weather. Make sure to have your tires evaluated by a professional before the wintry precipitation begins.
Tread is imperative, but proper air pressure is also important. If the air pressure gets too low, tires may become flat, which increases the risk of failure and accidents. A blowout on slick roads can be incredibly dangerous.
Remember that your tires will lose air pressure just from a decrease in the outdoor temperatures. As a matter of fact, for every 10 degree drop in temperature, your tires will lose 1 pound per square inch of air pressure. Therefore, check your air pressure using a tire gauge periodically and especially before and during your road trip this holiday season.
Yes, tires with sufficient tread and a proper amount of air pressure are key. However, if your brakes are not working correctly, you will not be able to stop your tires, which can cause an accident that can be deadly on wintry roads.
Knowing when it is time to replace your brake pads and rotors can be difficult. Each manufacturer has their own recommendations based on mileage, but there are signs that your vehicle needs new pads or rotors and knowing these signs before you head out on your road trip this holiday season is smart.
If you hear a screeching or squealing sound when you apply or when you release your brakes, you most likely need new pads. If the vehicle shakes when you apply the brakes, you will need new pads and possibly new rotors.
In some newer, luxury model vehicles, you may notice a warning light on your dashboard. If the pads and rotors wear down to a certain level, the sensors will trigger this warning, helping you know exactly when it is time to have your brakes replaced.
Before traveling for the holidays, you should inspect your vehicle's battery, too. Without a fully charged battery, your vehicle will not have the power to feed the starter and start the engine. This could result in being stranded on the road or in a parking lot somewhere during your travels.
Your battery experiences a lot more stress during the winter because of the colder temperatures. The lower the temperature, the less charge your battery can accept, which causes it to use more power to charge, making it wear down faster.
Replacing a battery is an inexpensive task, so checking and replacing this key part of your vehicle's operation is a smart investment before your road trip.
Last, but definitely not least, consider having your windshield wipers inspected and possibly replaced before heading out on the road for the holiday season.
If your windshield wipers are not clearing away rain properly, they will not be able to clear away more stubborn residue, such as frosty buildup, snow, and ice. Replace the windshield wipers before the winter season.
Also, make sure to refill the windshield wiper fluid before your road trip. Use a deicing wiper fluid that will help melt ice and snow from the windshield.
For more information, bring your car in for a service to a company such as Euroclassics Limited.