On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me… a flat battery and hail through the windshield?
Winter is not a good time of year for cars if you live somewhere cold. Just as it does for your Grandma's knee, the damp can easily get inside your car and cause all kinds of problems. Combine this with icy cold winds and you have a recipe for auto-disaster.
This can make the winter an expensive time for many car owners, but only if you aren't careful to keep your car safe and warm. Here we will look at some of the ways you can keep your car safe and warm as the weather starts getting colder.
Most important of all, is to make sure that you park your car in the right place and that it's well protected when it's left outside.
If you keep your car parked on the road or drive, then it's much more likely to get damp and will be exposed should there be a hail storm. The solution is to get yourself a garage if possible so that it's not exposed to the elements.
And what if you don't have a garage and don't have the means to get one? In that case you could ask a friend if they have space for another car or you could look for multistory parking in your area. If those aren't options either, then consider erecting a pop-up car shelter which you can erect and take down as necessary (and which costs a lot less). You could even look into getting a car 'pocket' which is essentially just a zip up tarpaulin – but it's better than nothing for sure!
If your car is old, then the battery is more likely to take a beating in the winter. This means you can have those frustrating mornings where you're sitting in the car trying to start the engine and going nowhere fast all the while.
The solution is to take your car to a mechanic early on and get them to check the battery. If it's had problems in the past then now might be a good time to consider changing it, or to consider keeping jump cables in your boot.
This is also a good time to make sure that the antifreeze is topped up and that there's enough water in the heater. Check the thermostat and defroster too.
It's not just the icy cold and damp that can present a danger for your vehicle, it's also the combination of slippery roads and low light which can make accidents more likely to happen. That's why it's a good idea to make sure you are well stocked up in order to avoid such occurrences. The first way to avoid accidents is to make sure that you double check your headlights – especially if you haven't had to use them for a while. You might also want to consider using winter tires.
You should also keep some antifreeze in the car to clear the windshield if it's slow to clear in the morning. Don't even think about leaving the house before you can see what you're doing! And if you don't like having to scrape ice off every morning, then look into replacing your windshield with a heated one that will be able to dispel ice and condensation on its own.
Follow these tips and you should find your car is much better prepared for winter. If you don't have the option of shelter for your parking, seriously consider your alternatives as the long, cold nights can really take their toll. It will be an investment in the long run!