The essential guide to protect your car from the winter cold

hWinter has arrived and it’s time to know how to get your car ready to avoid problems. we already know that low temperatures they can affect safety behind the wheel and can even ruin a trip. So here are a series of practical tips to get out of this icy dilemma.

How to remove the ice before going out?

Although it seems obvious, Always remove ice from the windshield before setting off. And it is that there are still drivers who start waiting for the heating and windshield wipers to take effect, while they travel many meters without hardly seeing what is happening in front of the wheel, creating a dangerous situation.

Defrosting the windshield with very hot water, or with high-temperature heating air, can seriously damage the glass due to the sudden change in temperature, causing it to break. And this effect is noticeably intensified if the windshield has an impact. It is also not recommended to operate the windscreen wipers when the glass is frozen, as the surface of the wiper blades will be damaged. If we do not want to remove the ice in the morning, the simplest thing is to protect the windshield with a simple piece of cardboard attached to the wipers, which we can store in the trunk..

It is advisable to remove the ice using a plastic scraper, which does not damage the surface of the glass.. Another method is to spray the glass with alcohol, which melts ice quickly. It is also advisable to apply a specific liquid and insect repellent treatment to the windshield, which, in addition to substantially improving day and night visibility in the rain, makes the windows freeze less and ice is removed very easily.

The windshield, clean so as not to affect the ADAS systems

A study by the American Automobile Association (AAA) has shown that the performance of ADAS systems is adversely affected by rain, snow and, minimally, by dirt on the windshield. Given the results of this study, the American Automobile Association recommends that drivers take into account that Lane-keep assist and automatic emergency braking systems may degrade performance in adverse weather conditions. He also recommends keeping the areas around cameras and radar sensors clean.

A small impact can leave us in the gutter

Winter is the time of the year when more windshield breaks occur due to temperature changes.. A small impact on the glass, which can be easily repaired in Carglass, can lead to a break. Temperature changes can cause changes in the bodywork that are transmitted to the windshield, altering its stress patterns. And the glass itself also suffers from supporting the difference in temperature between the exterior and the interior of the vehicle.

Pay attention to the battery

Batteries suffer a lot from the cold and often fail in winter when they are in the last period of their useful life. At the slightest sign of failure, it must be replaced, because it can degrade very quickly.. Electric car batteries also feel low temperatures, reducing their performance, which decreases the range available. It is advisable to use the remote preheating functions -from the smartphone and, if possible, with the car still plugged in- that most models offer, so that they work in optimal conditions when we start driving.

check fluids

Pay attention to the levels of the antifreeze fluid in the cooling system and the windshield washer fluid.. The windshield washer fluid reservoir must not be filled with water alone, to prevent hoses from freezing and nozzles clogging at low temperatures.

The importance of clean

Heat and cold deteriorate the rubber wiper blades. Deteriorated windscreen wipers cause stripes or blurred surfaces in the field of vision when they are activated, with the consequent loss of safety. It is recommended to replace the brushes at least once a year. To keep them in the best possible condition if the car spends nights outdoors, it is advisable to lift them up or put a cardboard under them.

All-weather tires or chains

The most recognized tire brands offer all-weather tires that work perfectly in summer and are approved for driving in snow without the need for chains. They are a highly recommended option in areas where it snows frequently.

If we don’t have them, we will have to use chains. There are many types, from the classic steel, to textile or composite. Although the latter are easier to mount, it is always advisable to have mounted them before on some occasion so that it catches us first at the worst moment; and wear rubber gloves, because with frozen hands we lose touch and strength. Finally, you have to check the condition of the spare tire or puncture repair ‘kit’ before leaving on a trip.

check the lights

The reduction in daylight hours and weather conditions make it much more important in winter to check the status of the vehicle’s lights. It is advisable to keep daytime running lights or low beam lights on all day.

wash the car more

In winter the car gets dirty more quickly and, in addition, it can accumulate the corrosive salt that is used to remove snow from asphalt; so it is advisable to wash it frequentlyeven though we know that it will get dirty soon after.

What to take in the car

It is also recommended, if we are going to go on a trip when it is very cold, bring winter shoes, a blanket, some food and drink, a well-charged phone and a charger in the car.

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