Auto Guide: How to Prepare Your Vehicle for Cold Weather
by Ivan B. on December 29, 2014 in Automotive
Many states will be plagued with extremely cold weather this winter. And if you live somewhere chilly you know firsthand how dangerous it can be to get behind the wheel when the temperature drops.
And there's nothing you can do about it because driving is a necessity for many people.
Driving in snow storms and dealing with black ice are only part of the problem. The bigger issue at hand is making sure your vehicle is safe enough to tackle the weather. Fortunately, this isn't so hard to do if you know where to start. And if you're thinking of hitting the road this winter, there are certain products that make sure your trips are as safe (and comfortable) as possible.
How to Prepare Your Vehicle for Cold Weather:
A windshield cover is a low-cost investment that eliminates one of the most annoying things about driving in cold weather: scraping ice off your windshield. It's the perfect wintertime accessory for anyone that's fed up of scraping frost and is durable enough to withstand anything Mother Nature decides to drop on your car. It also rolls up easily for storage during the warmer months.
Sheepskin Steering Wheel Cover
A sheepskin steering wheel cover not only adds a touch of class to your vehicle, it also keeps your hands warm while protecting your steering wheel from erosion. The best part about it is that it also keeps your hands cool in the summer so you can use it year-round. Simply shake out the debris, hand-wash, and hang dry for a steering wheel cover that keeps you cozy no matter the weather.
Driving with foggy windows is not only a nuisance — it's extremely dangerous. And because the cold weather increases the moisture inside your vehicle, foul odors are also an issue. An auto dehumidifier solves both of these problems and will keep your car smelling like new while keeping your windshield crystal-clear. It's also compact and has a carbon fiber design that looks great in any interior.
If you're tired of waiting for your car to heat itself up before it can heat you up; install your own portable heater. This plugs straight into your car's cigarette lighter socket and starts blowing hot air quickly without having to wait for the engine to reach a certain temperature. As an added bonus, it also defrosts your windshield and can be used as a fan during the summer.
You probably don't think of a video camera when you think of vehicle safety, but it can actually save your life. Because a video camera is able to capture views outside of your peripheral vision, you'll be able to see hazards that would otherwise go unnoticed. And in the event you get into an accident, a video camera can also provide evidence to protect you against fraudulent claims.
Portable Jump Starter
The only thing worse than having your car's battery die and being stranded on the side of the road is having this happen in cold weather. Keeping a portable jump starter in your glove box is an easy way to make sure that never happens and will keep you safe whenever you're on the road. And because it's powered by high-density NOCO element lithium-ion, it can hold a charge for up to a year.
Getting lost in bad weather is never a good experience and a GPS navigation system will let you reach any destination without asking for directions. And because it has a built-in microphone and speaker, it also lets you make hands-free calls so you can keep your eyes on the road. There's also no need to worry about map updates because you'll get them free forever.
Winter Driving Tips
Besides stocking up on products that help your car deal with the cold weather, it's also important to perform regular maintenance and inspect your vehicle before each ride. Mishimoto's handy winter driving guide will help you prepare your vehicle for the cold temperatures and offers many insightful tips on how you can do it all yourself.
Other winter driving tips include:
- Avoid driving while you're fatigued. Getting the proper amount of rest before taking on winter weather tasks reduces driving risks.
- Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
- Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
- Never mix radial tires with other tire types.
- Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
- If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather.
- Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).
- Always look and steer where you want to go.
- Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.
If all this advice seems daunting and you'd rather not deal with driving this winter, just buy a Tricycle instead and wait for the summer!