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The Ionian

The Student News Site of Iona University

The Ionian

Winter car prep: Four quick tips to get your car winter ready

The+change+in+temperatures+can+be+damaging+to+your+car%2C+but+here+are+four+tips+to+ease+the+stress.
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The change in temperatures can be damaging to your car, but here are four tips to ease the stress.

The impending arrival of winter weather is right around the corner for us commuters at Iona University. With potential blizzards, frozen slush and black ice on the horizon, driving into campus can become very dangerous if you’re unprepared. To ensure your safety and slight peace of mind heading into this upcoming winter season, here are four tips to get your car prepared for the journey ahead. 

 

Change your washer fluid.  

 

There is a high chance that you are either using standard washer fluid or water in your washer reservoir. As the temperatures drop, you should change your washer fluid to any variety of deicer washer fluids. These washer fluids have properties that will help to melt ice on your windshield and have an increased resistance to the freezing temperatures to come. However, if your reservoir is currently full, you can either use the present fluid you have until it’s empty and replace it with deicer or slowly mix the deicer with the already present fluid over time. No damage will occur if it’s mixed. 

 

Keep winter items in your car. 

 

Have you ever had that “oh no” moment when you try to drive over a small snow pile, but the car won’t go anymore? It’s important to keep certain items in your car so you can be ready if the situation ever arises. Winter tools such as snow shovels, ice scrapers, snow brushes, deicer sprays and traction mats all go a long way in keeping you prepared. Of all the items listed, traction mats are probably one of the most important ones as these plastic or rubber slabs slip under your car’s tires if your car gets stuck in the snow or slush. These mats give your tires traction when they’re slipping in order to jolt the car forward. 

 

Keep an eye on your tires.  

 

Even though you don’t necessarily need true winter tires while being in New Rochelle, it’s important as always to monitor your tires during the cold months. When it gets cold, your tire pressure can decrease about one Pound(s) per Square Inch for every 10 degrees drop in temperature. It may be common that your car’s Tire Pressure Monitoring System light comes on more frequently during the winter. Keeping a PSI gauge in your glovebox is a good idea to monitor your tire pressure and ensure it maintains an optimal pressure. If your TPMS light comes on, use a tire air inflator at home or find a gas station with air pumps to inflate your tires to your manufacturer’s specifications, which is usually found in your owner’s manual. 

 

Get your car inspected.  

 

Finally, one of the best things you can do during the winter months is to take your car to a trusted mechanic and ask for a comprehensive inspection that focuses on components that are vulnerable to cold weather. Your mechanic is most likely to check your car’s brakes, belts, hoses, fluids, tires and other critical components. A professional inspection can run about $20 to $150, without counting the costs of replacing anything that the mechanic recommends. If you don’t have the budget for a professional inspection, I would recommend using online guides to perform a basic self-inspection at home to ensure that your vehicle is at least somewhat ready for winter. 

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