(ModernSurvival.org) – With winter in full swing, those who live in chilly climates are quite familiar with how nightmarish the cold is while driving. While icy roads and snowstorms are often what come to mind, these aren’t the only threats that drivers face when temperatures plummet.
As the climate fluctuates, so do the mechanical systems within vehicles. In fact, there are some systems that need special attention, or even upgrades, when the weather becomes frigid.
Unfortunately, many drivers chose to ignore the warning lights on their dashboards, including the check engine alert. This can be a big mistake in cold weather, especially when the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) light comes on.
The TPMS indicator is a warning of a slow leak or impending flat tire. When the roads are slick, all four tires need to be in optimal condition, or one has a greater risk of getting into an accident.
It’s a good idea to check the tire pressure regularly, anyway. However, a small pressure drop in cold weather isn’t necessarily a sign of a leak. Generally, tire pressure drops about 1 PSI during the winter, as the cold forces the air inside the tire to condense.
Beam Windshield Wipers
In regions that receive a lot of snow, ice, or sleet, upgrading a vehicle’s windshield wipers is highly recommended. Beam windshield wipers have spring steel within the rubber blade, allowing them to provide more even pressure across the windshield. Where traditional wipers may lock up or crack in icy conditions, beam wipers will hold up.
Engine Block Heater
Some vehicles have a hard time starting in cold weather. This is where an engine block heater comes in handy, as it keeps the motor warm overnight and prevents oil from turning into sludge. It also keeps the other fluids, such as fuel in the gas lines, from freezing up in the extreme cold. Simply plug it in and let it work overnight. When morning comes, the vehicle should start right up without issue.
Snowstorms and icy temperatures are unpredictable which is why it’s better to prepare now for adverse conditions rather than to get caught off guard. By keeping the family ride ready, one can avert a disaster before it ever has a chance to happen.
For information on how to handle driving in adverse winter conditions, take a look at our article here.
~Here’s to Your Survival!
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