Winter driving conditions present some specific challenges for drivers. Icy surfaces can make it harder for your vehicle to grip road surfaces. Snow and slushy ice can also cause problems with traction, and if you are unfortunate enough to find yourself trapped or isolated, you need to ensure that you are carrying the appropriate items with you.
In order to winterize your luxury vehicle, we at Bob Howard Acura have isolated five key areas to focus on.
Test your battery
In cold weather, your vehicle’s battery is more likely to fail to start. Your car battery loses power naturally as the temperature decreases, which means that if the battery is old already, it may fail to start when the icy weather sets in. Ensure that your car battery is tested before the cold season sets in, particularly if it is older than four years. If in doubt, you may want to consider replacing it. Speak with our service department to determine your best options.
Buy winter tires
When the roads become covered in ice or snow, traction becomes a major problem, and if your tires are unable to cope with the surface, you may find that you cannot control your vehicle. A full set of winter tires could be a sound investment. Winter tires have a different form of tread to cope with snow and ice and are designed to remain fully elastic in the coldest of temperatures. Winter tires will normally last three winter seasons and could prevent the cost of damaged bodywork or, worse, injuries to your passengers. Look for the mountain-peak-and-snowflake symbol on the side wall of the tire, which indicates that they are suitable for winter.
Replace wipers and top off washer fluid
Good visibility in hazardous conditions is essential to your safety. Conventional windshield wiper blades are very susceptible to the cold. Frozen blades can lift away from the windshield and may not be effective in removing snow or heavy, icy rain. Winter blades stay flexible in the cold and have a rubber covering that allows the blade to remain close to the windshield surface. It is also important to ensure that your washer fluid reservoir is topped off regularly. Use an appropriate solution with anti-freeze and keep a large bottle of spare fluid in your car at all times.
Check your headlights
In driving snow, it is vital to have headlights that can easily be seen by other vehicles and that light up the road for you as much as possible. You can align your headlights according to the manufacturer’s instruction, often by adjusting a single knob or screw. The headlight covers can also become hazy, due to oxidation of the plastic content that greatly reduces visibility. Headlight restoration kits can be purchased, but it might be best to let your dealership handle the cleaning so that your headlights achieve maximum visibility.
Gather emergency supplies
It doesn’t matter how well-maintained your luxury vehicle is - if the weather deteriorates enough, then you may find yourself temporarily stranded or incapacitated. You should ensure that you always carry spare blankets to keep you and your passengers warm in the event that there is no car heating. Gloves and boots will ensure that you can go out into the snow if necessary. Pack a flashlight and spare batteries in case you need to move away from the car at night. A shovel or scraper brush could be essential to remove snow or ice from around the wheels. Bottled water and non-perishable snacks might be necessary in the event that you are stuck for some time.
Winter weather can be dangerous and frightening, even for the most experienced of drivers. Take the appropriate precautions and prepare carefully whenever you are driving in wintry conditions. You may prevent damage to your vehicle, and, more importantly, injury to your loved ones and yourself.