This article was written by Andreas Nicolaides, a personal finance author for Money Supermarket.
At this time of year, the cold wintery weather can cause havoc, especially on the roads. There’s nothing worse than waking up on a cold morning and realizing that your vehicle is completely frozen over. We can’t change the weather, but we can prepare for the cold weather, which can help save us time and money. Check these items to stay safe and be ready for any situation.
Inflated Tires - Ensure your vehicles tires are fully inflated before setting off. This will help your vehicle cope with the wet and slippery conditions. If you don’t ensure they are inflated correctly and you damage your tire, this could result in you needing an expensive replacement.
Tire Tread - Ensure you have a minimum of 3mm of tread on your tires before you set off; it will help you deal with the difficult driving conditions.
Vehicle Locks - Spray WD-40 or a similar product on your door locks to keep them from freezing up. Not doing this can actually result in your door locks bending which will result in a hefty bill.
Vehicle Battery – Your vehicle’s battery will run down a lot quicker than it would in warmer driving conditions. Keep this in mind before keeping the radio on while waiting for someone. If your battery runs out and nobody is there to help you start, it can be a major pain.
Your windows - Probably the most annoying part of the winter season is when you have to scrape the snow from your vehicles windows. For safety you should always do this before setting off. Once you remove all the snow you may realize that the window is also frozen over, you should never use water to de-ice windows. Using warm or hot water can crack your windows which will cost you a lot of money, and using cold water may only result in refreezing once your vehicle is stationary again. Instead of water, use de-icer that I’m sure you can purchase from your nearest supermarket or gas station.
Remember that doing something to your vehicle like cracking your windshield, even by mistake can result in a rise in your auto insurance if you need to make a claim. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
When the winter approaches, I tend to keep an emergency cold weather kit in my vehicle, just in case I need it. I include:
- A jumper cablesin case the battery dies
- An ice scraper to remove snow and ice from the vehicle
- A flashlight in case you breakdown at night
- A shovel in case your vehicle gets trapped while you’re parked away from home.
Save yourself some money and ensure your vehicle is winter proof this year.