Owning a car might become a tedious task as the winter arrives. Although the winters in India aren’t as harsh as it’s in the west but you can’t deny it as it certainly takes a toll and can affect our daily lives. Moreover, it surely can be a pain for those living in the northern states of the country. With the onset of winters, here are some helpful winter car hacks for you which can help you keep your car in a top-notch condition.
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Top 20 winter car hacks that you should know
Always keep the fuel tank half full
If you reside in an area prone to snowstorms or in an area prone to any other winter associated emergency, then make sure that your fuel tank is always half full so that you have enough fuel for any emergency situations.
Prep up your car before the winters
This is the most basic thing you can do to ensure that you leave your car-related problems at the bay during winters. Get your car serviced before the onset of the harsh winters and make sure that everything looks good, whether it’s the engine or the electricals.
Warm-up your car before you leave
While most people ignore this fact stating it as a myth, it is recommended that you warm up your car before you start driving. Although engines have evolved since this trick came into existence but the basic idea behind a machine remains the same.
When you keep the engine running for 3 to 5 minutes before driving it ensures that the engine oil reaches every nook and corner of the engine and is lubricated well enough for a smooth drive ahead.
Read the charge in the battery
The cold weather can reduce your battery’s abilities by up to 50%. To make sure that the battery is working properly, and to avoid getting stuck on a cold deserted road make sure that you check the battery terminals regularly and have them checked at regular intervals for corrosion.
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Check the condition of the brakes
In winters, if you’re driving on a snow-laden wet road there are chances that your brakes might not work properly. Moreover, as you break the distance of stopping gets affected by a high margin during winters.
Hence, if you’re planning a trip up the hills make sure that you get the brake pads checked and cleaned. Get the brake callipers greased if required for better functioning.
Demist the windows and mirrors
Demisting your car before you start for the drive can prove out to be very effective. For demisting, start with ventilating your car while keeping the blowers on, which ensures the moisture evaporates.
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After this, turn on your car’s air conditioner so that while you drive, the moisture does not accumulate on your car’s windscreen which in turn fogs up your car’s windows. Your car’s air conditioner removes the moisture inside the vehicle by circulating the air through the cold fins in the evaporator, which removes the humidity.
Pack an Emergency Kit
Winters can prove out to be unexpected and the hills can surprise you anytime. This is one of the most efficient and important winter car hacks for you. Make sure that you have an emergency kit in your car ready any time of the day.
There are some of the essential items that you can add in your emergency kit for winters like a medical kit with all the basic medicines, packaged food and canned foods like nuts, energy bars, a fully charged power bank for this very purpose, 2-3 crates of packaged drinking water, a blanket just in case the car heater fails, a flashlight or a torch, a jumpstart cable, a small hammer and finally a puncture repair kit and another kit with some basic tools.
These are some of the basic items you can add to your kit for emergency purposes. However, you can make sure that you tweak it according to your personal requirements.
Use shaving foam/cream to clear the fog
It gets annoying when you’re all warm and cosy inside your car but all of a sudden the windows get all fogged up and now you’d have to roll the windows down and let the cold air come in. To avoid this misery, you can use some shaving cream. Just apply a layer of shaving cream on your windscreen, which has the same ingredients as a defogger. Now that’s a car hack!
Ensure a good tyre pressure
Make sure that there is an ample amount of pressure in the tyres, neither too low nor too high. An over-inflated tyre might lead your car to skid in slippery conditions while an underinflated tyre might not provide you with the needed traction.
Top the coolant
Yes, coolant helps your car engine to remain cool. But did you know it also helps your car engine in winters? The coolant ensures that the engine of the car maintains a healthy temperature throughout the year. Make sure that your car has an ample amount of coolant in order to prevent freezing up of the engine and jamming. The recommended concentration of the coolant should be between 50% to 70%.
Install a fog lamp
If you’re someone living in the northern plains then you’d know how essential is a good fog lamp during winters. Most of the cars now come with a fog lamp option but if your car doesn’t have one, make sure that you add one and get it fitted on your cars.
Apply vaseline to the door seals
During regular snowfall, the rubber seal and the door might form ice which can lead to jamming of the doors. Use this winter car hack and apply some Vaseline petroleum jelly on the rubber seal to lubricate the doors and avoiding ice buildup.
Clean your car regularly
Winters might lead to an accumulation of dew, slush, and mud in some inaccessible places which might affect the car’s performance. Make sure you remove the slush and mud as much as you can and go for high-pressure cleaning and washing once a month or once in two months.
Wear sunglasses while driving
Yes, wearing sunglasses can protect you from the glare of the sun in high altitude areas. Check the weather forecast before you head onto the higher altitudes and if the weather forecasts a snowfall then make sure you keep those sunglasses handy.
Raise your windshield wipers before parking
Use this winter car tip and make sure that you raise the wipers of your car before you park it for the night. This will prevent the wipers from sticking to the car window due to cold.
Check the engine oil level
The engine oil tends to thicken up a bit during winters. Make sure that before the season arrives you get it checked and topped up with an adequate amount. Moreover, the viscosity and consistency of the oil should be checked regularly.
Replace the air filter
The air filter works as the shield between you and the pollutants inside while you are in the car. It accumulates dust and other small particles over time. Make sure you get it replaced before onsetting on your trip.
Keep a pair of old socks
This is one quirky winter car hack. Ordinary socks can come handy in various situations during winters. You can put it up on the wipers of your car when you raise them overnight in order to avoid accumulation and ice build-up during snowfall.
Moreover, just in case you have to give your car a bit of a push, in that case wearing these socks over your pair of shoes can provide you with better traction and the mud and slush won’t spoil your mats.