We have written a handful of posts on winter weather’s affect on our vehicles and what you need to do differently in the winter. But it hasn’t quite gotten that cold here in North Carolina yet. So before it does, we want to outline a few winter mistakes you may make that are ruining your car!
You may not realize you make these mistakes, but they can be detrimental to your vehicle. You have to take different precautions with your car in the winter than you do any other season of the year. So read on to make sure you’re taking good care of your car.
1. Not changing your windshield wipers.
This is a big one because many people don’t even think about changing their windshield wipers until one of them actually breaks. But if your wipers are leaving streaks on your windshield, or they’re just not clearing the windshield as well as they used to, then you need to change them. They are critical when the snow is coming down, and you don’t want to hinder your visibility any more by using old, worn out wiper blades.
2. Warming your car up before getting in.
Yes, it’s hard to leave your cozy, warm bed in the morning only to venture outside into freezing temperatures with chapping winds. Many people make this transition less traumatizing by starting their car, to let it warm up, while they finish getting ready inside. However, you shouldn’t leave your car idling for very long! It not only wastes gas, but can cause build-up on your spark plugs, which wears them out sooner. A minute or two is enough time to leave your car idling, but no longer or you’re just hurting your vehicle!
3. Not changing your tires for the winter.
Around here we really don’t get a lot of snow, and when we do most people stay off the roads entirely. So many people don’t bother to change their tires. Unfortunately, this is a mistake! Winter tires are not just different for better traction on the snow, but they can handle the lower temperatures of winter and aren’t weakened by ice on the road, like summer tires are.
4. Letting your gas tank stay close to empty.
In the winter you should fill up your gas tank more frequently. A near-empty gas tank can hold moist air, which can freeze and crystallize in the tank and push ice into your vehicle’s fuel lines. So in the winter it is best to keep your tank as full as you can. You also don’t want to run out of gas on the side of the road in the winter months!
5. Driving the same way as you do all year long.
You should adjust the way you drive your vehicle in the winter. If you’re speeding down a snowy road, your tires could lose traction or there could be black ice under a patch of snow that you can’t see. This could cause a crash that could destroy you and your vehicle. It’s better to be safe and keep a steady speed and drive below the speed limit if the conditions are questionable.
Also, if you do hit a patch of ice, do not slam on your brakes or overcorrect. If you slam on your brakes or overcorrect, it’s highly likely you’ll spin out of control and who knows where your vehicle will go. You could also hurt other people. You’re not just looking out for yourself when you’re driving carefully.
Don’t make these winter car mistakes and
you’ll save yourself some money this holiday season!