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Prepping Your Car for Extreme Weather

Most people are familiar with the process of the winter preparations. Nobody wants to see the car breaking down during the blizzard and to endure being stranded out in such severe weather conditions. But, many drivers forget that the higher temperatures affect not only people, but their vehicles too, accelerating the wear and tear and causing excessive heating. Hence, extreme weather means that drivers must stay vigilant and prepare everything from the inside out. A majority of maintenance tasks is simple, but sometimes you may need the help of the professional automotive technician.

car service and maintenance

As Hot as a Highway Blacktop

Comfortable driving environment is essential for the safe travels, so pay attention to the air conditioning and do not forget to stay hydrated, especially if dwelling uninhabited areas. Heat is not a good companion when one needs to concentrate, which is why problems like low refrigerant level must be dealt with. They can have a negative effect on the interior temperature and decrease the alertness of the driver dramatically.

Just as we need fluids, our vehicles require them to run smoothly and maintain optimal temperature.   So, always check on motor oil, as well as power steering, brake and transmission fluid.  The battery fluid can also evaporate faster in hot weather, leading to the corrosion on terminals and connections. The corrosive build up must be cleaned and the clamps tightened, while the older batteries should be tested by a technician.

The engine works hard during hot days as well, and the cooling system may struggle to prevent its overheating. This is the case when it is not properly maintained, which impedes the ability of protective additives to combat corrosion and wear of the engine. Even with taking all the precautions, summer breakdowns do happen, so always keep an emergency kit around.

Furthermore, under-inflated tyres not only affect the car’s handling and braking, but also increase the risk of overheating and blowout. Suspension and alignment problems that are the result of the uneven tear only add fuel to the fire. Stick to the pressure level recommended by the car manufacturer to avoid catastrophic situations, and know that the off-road adventures call for some special approach.  

driving on sand

Experts from the Tyre Right advise you to actually deflate your tyres when driving on terrain like sand because this raises friction and helps you gain much better surface contact. It is easier to get out of soft ground this way, even without the benefits of a 4×4. One thing is for sure- spinning the wheels will only get you deeper in the sand.    

A Cold Snap

When the temperature drops, other challenges are put before drivers and their four-wheeled friends. Some problems with the vehicle could now be aggravated: hard starts, sluggish performance and rough idling. Blizzards and extreme cold are best to be avoided, but when that is not possible, there are still some steps that help drivers overcome obstacles on the road. For example, if you have a garage, shelter your car and guard it from the ice and cold. A car cover might not work against fluid freezes, but at least your paint and windshields are safe.

When inspecting the car, focus on the breaks first and have them checked by a technician, as they are the car’s most important safety mechanism. The exhaust system is another vital component, and during winter, when the windows are closed, the drivers and passengers are prone to carbon monoxide leaks. Finally, the exterior and interior lights must be properly aimed and working normally.

winter driving

Cold weather is hard on the batteries, so they must be inspected for optimal performance. New antifreeze should be put in the cooling system every two years, and flushed in the fall, before first freezes. Heaters, wipers and defrosters are also the essential tools for getting through the winter. One must swap winter wiper blades twice a year and have washer fluids ready in stock.

The list goes on: The oil, fuel, air and transmission filters are to be changed regularly because dirty liquids mean trouble. Do not overlook the tyres, and keep the pressure right. Depending on the level of frost and snow, you might have to utilize special tyres.  At last, remember that a winter emergency kit includes ice scrapers, jumper cables, flashlights, blankets, snow brushes, etc. These items should enable you to beat the chilly dead of the winter on four wheels.

Down the Road

Extreme weather puts great demands on our cars and their equipment. Both heat and cold are not to be taken lightly, as they pose a threat to the driver’s safety and the optimal functioning of the car. Thus, failing to prepare the vehicle for these perilous conditions can induce life-threatening situations. See to it that the fluids are filled at the appropriate levels and that the rubber that meets the road is in a good condition. Keep a close eye on the temperature inside the vehicle, and stay focused on the road ahead. Stay on the safe side, have a piece of mind and ensure the best possible driving experience.


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