‘Tis the season (for car maintenance tips)! December 24th, 2015
The winter holiday season is upon us and despite the festive atmosphere, harsh weather conditions are a cause for concern for automobile owners. Winter may be the most taxing season for your car as it is constantly exposed to freezing temperature and elements such as snow, sleet and ice. In order to ensure smooth sailing through the holidays, Kia Motors presents winter maintenance tips to keep your car running flawlessly through the season.
1) Look under the hood
Temperature drops are known to wreak havoc on automobiles as the systems have to work a lot harder to keep the engine going in the cold. Colder temperatures disturb the chemical processes inside car batteries making them more prone to dying. Seeking regular and thorough checkups during the winter months is highly recommended in order to make sure that things are running smoothly under the hood. It is also important to check fluids such as engine oil and antifreeze and adjust them according to the condition of your vehicle and the local weather.
2) Prevent slipping
Depending on where you live, adding chains or upgrading to special winter tires may be your best bet for maintaining control and boosting traction while driving on the ice-prone roads of winter. Because air contracts in cold temperatures, making sure that tires are properly inflated is also a must when the temperatures start to fall. Deflated tires significantly decrease traction and prevent your brake system from working at maximum efficiency.
Brakes are one of the most important safety features, requiring yearlong care, but special attention must be paid in winter to prevent skidding on icy roads. Make sure that your brakes are sound and pay attention to any warning signals that may appear on your dashboard.
3) Defend against moisture
One of the most basic steps in weathering winter elements such as snow, slush and even hail is waterproofing your automobile. Exposure to the elements causes rusting, and road salt may also contribute to problems with the undercarriage and corrosion of the vehicle body. A detailed cleaning and wax job will remove harmful corrosives and provide much needed protection against the winter weather. Water-resistant floor mats also come in handy when protecting your car from moisture.
It is also necessary to make sure windshield wipers are in working order as they are prone to fraying and freezing during the winter months. Because wipers are crucial to visibility, preemptive checkups and stocking up on replacement parts is also a good idea.
4) Check the heat
The proper functioning of your vehicle’s heating and defrosting units is important for a safe and comfortable driving experience during wintertime. In addition to keeping you warm and toasty behind the wheel, the heating and defrosting units work to prevent condensation on windshields to maintain a clear line of vision while driving. Make sure to check for faulty heater coils and confirm that blowers and window defrosters are in working order. In addition, replacing cabin air filters may help improve the your automobile’s HVAC system.
5) Prepare for emergencies
While taking all the preventative measures, it never hurts to be prepared for any situation. Carrying a winter emergency kit will keep you well equipped if something does go wrong while travelling. Some essential supplies to include are: a thermal blanket, additional winter wear, a flashlight with extra batteries, a small shovel, car charger, jumper cables, ice scraper, emergency reflector or triangle, flares, candles with lighter or matches, external cellphone battery pack, first-aid kit and a supply of water and dried food. While some of these supplies may seem unnecessary or a little overboard, it is better to have them stashed in your car and not use them, than to need them and not have them at all.
Preparing your car for winter driving while keeping in mind the most severe weather you can expect in your area is always the best policy for avoiding unexpected disasters during the holidays. Following the tips above and preparing your vehicle for the winter months ahead will make for a safe and enjoyable travelling experience.
Kia Motors wishes worldwide fans safe travels this holiday season and we thank you for your continued love and support for the brand!