How to prepare a car for winter?
All necessary measures are best done before the first frost. Statistics show that with the onset of cold weather, the number of accidents on the roads associated with the unpreparedness of cars for winter conditions increases.
“Shoes” by season
The first thing car owners think about as winter approaches is tire change.
Conventionally, there are three types of tires – winter, summer and all-weather. It would seem very convenient to use the same set of tires all year round, but, unfortunately, for most Russian car owners this option is unacceptable. All-season tires are designed for operation at an air temperature of at least minus 5 degrees. Winters in much of Russia are much colder.
Winter tires come in two types – studded and studless. The choice here will depend, first of all, on the operating conditions of the car. What winters in your region are mild, with wet snow and rain, or severe, with snowfalls and severe frosts? Do you use the car only in the city or you often have to leave it?
For roads where you will not see asphalt in winter, studded tires are suitable. Manufacturers are constantly working to improve both the spikes themselves and the options for their location on the tire in order to improve the adhesion of the wheels to the roadway. An alternative to buying studded tires may be studding available, but this method has its own subtleties and requires consultation with a specialist.
For milder winters, when there is almost no snow and it is often damp on the roads, it is better to choose studless tires. The composition of the rubber and the tread pattern of such tires may be different. There are “European” and “Scandinavian” types of studless tires. The first is designed for warm winters and has a diagonal tread pattern, with narrow slots for draining dirt and water. The second is distinguished by a “toothy” pattern that provides better grip on a snowy or icy road in more snowy and cooler winters..
For advice on choosing the right tire, you can contact not only the store, but also various publications for car owners. In anticipation of winter, magazines often publish reviews, information on new products and winter tire test results. Having made your choice, visit several outlets, compare prices and conditions (often they also provide tire service at shops or in the neighborhood).
Keep in mind that tires have an expiration date of not more than five years from the date of manufacture. Pay attention to the appearance of tires – unscrupulous sellers can sell defective tires under the guise of new ones. Such tires will have a indelible yellow mark.
If you have nowhere to keep the tires removed, ask about the possibility of storage at the seller or in a car service. The so-called “tire hotel” service involves the processing and proper storage of your tires until the next season.
After the “shoe change” it is recommended to run-in – drive a hundred or two hundred kilometers in a quiet mode to get used to new sensations, evaluate the behavior of the car on a winter road.
Health of the Iron Horse
Preparing a car for winter is not limited to changing tires. Ideally, it is worth contacting a car service center to carry out diagnostics and necessary work.
The car body in winter is exposed to snow, rain, cold and chemicals that are sprinkled on the road. Protect it – carry out anti-corrosion treatment.
Check the density of the electrolyte in the battery – it may be time to charge the battery or even replace it. Just in case, keep wires in the car for “lighting”.
In winter, you must be sure that the brakes work efficiently – check the condition of the brake cylinders and pads.
Pay attention to the candles and the alternator belt. Candles can be put new. The belt should not have abrasions and cracks, and its tension should correspond to the norm.
All fluids and oils in the car also require evaluation. It is necessary to check the density of antifreeze, replace the washer fluid, you may need to replace or add oil.
Remember that operating an unprepared vehicle for winter is dangerous and could lead to an accident! Deterioration of the engine and chassis in cold weather occurs faster, fuel consumption increases. Of course, in winter it is especially nice to get to work in a warm car, but in severe frosts, as well as in ice or blizzard, perhaps it is better to use public transport.
So, “prepare your sleigh in the summer” and a comfortable winter ride!
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