These cold, winter months can do a lot more damage to your car than you realize. You may not know that you are making these mistakes when it comes to snow and ice. But don’t worry. You can keep your car in tip-top-shape this winter by stopping these habits:
- Neglecting to get a car wash. Even though it’s nearly impossible to keep your car clean during the winter, weekly washes are a must because a build up of salt can cause corrosion. A simple spray down will do. But don’t forget the undercarriage at least every few weeks.
- Forgetting to change the windshield wipers. Winter wipers are an upgrade in functionality for winter weather. Invest in winter wipers that remain ice and snow free to get the job done, especially since quality wipers increase your visibility and are vital for your safety.
- Warming your car for too long. Your engine isn’t designed to idle for long periods of time. Doing this causes buildup of the spark plugs, rendering them less efficient. It also wastes gas, so make sure that you only warm your car for a few minutes, if at all!
- Using summer tires during the winter. Winter tires are made with special low temperature resilient rubber compounds and have deep treads that grip snow and ice. Summer tires can be faulty and using them over the winter weakens them on dangerous road conditions.
- Forgetting to check tire pressure. The pressure in your tires drops one PSI for every 10 degrees in temperature. Invest in an emergency maintenance kit for your car that includes a portable air pump and pressure gauge.
- Waiting to fill up until your car is almost empty. It’s better to fill up frequently during the winter. Moist air in an empty tank can freeze and crystallize, leading to ice in the fuel lines.
- Using hot water instead of an ice scraper. If you pour hot water on your car to melt ice, it could crack your windshield. Use an ice scraper instead.