After a long and weird year behind us, it’s now time to start planning on preparing ourselves for the harshness of winter. Weather can be brutal in the US, especially in the Chicago area.
Every winter, citizens of Chicago struggle with heavy snow and cold weather that can paralyze the city’s traffic and make people’s lives complicated. However, you shouldn’t dread wintertime if you’re prepared for anything it might throw your way.
The safety of you and your family should be your main priority, and ice and snow can cause many problems. With that in mind, here are a few tips on preparing your car to withstand even the harshest weather conditions.
Having a reserve key
While you might have expected a more generic tip, we’ll start with a simple matter that can ruin your day in a second.
Have you ever lost your key, or accidentally broken it? Without a working key, you can’t get into your car and start the engine. Can you imagine yourself or your kids not being able to find shelter in your car in freezing temperatures?
To prepare yourself and avoid this frustrating situation, you can have any car locksmith in Chicago check, make a duplicate, or change the batteries in your car keys. Alternatively, if you didn’t resolve the issue with a battery change, a car locksmith can unlock your car with proper tools without damaging it.
The best advice is to avoid these scenarios altogether by making a spare key ahead of time.
Any inexperienced driver can easily misjudge the importance of having a winter tire set on the car, as they might not understand how different sets work in different weather conditions.
While some just use all-weather tires, many like to have two sets of tires – one for winter and one for summer conditions. When you calculate how long they will last you, changing between two sets during the year can even cut the expenses of buying new ones after they wear out.
Winter tires use different materials and engineering to enhance their performance on snow, rain, and mud. Driving in these conditions increases your chances of getting in an accident, but owning a proper tire helps mitigate these risks and keeps you safe while driving.
Another important thing when buying a winter set is not to go for the cheapest models. Take at least a middle class to get better performance and be safer on the road.
Checking your braking system
Your car uses a sophisticated Anti Blocking System (ABS) to control your wheels while trying to spot the car on slippery roads. ABS is one of the most important systems in your car for preventing accidents and keeping you safe.
While breaks are essential any time of the year, they should perform best while you drive in harsh and slippery terrains. You can check two important things by yourself:
These things are easy to check by simply opening your hood or getting down on all four and checking your wheels. Alternatively, if you don’t feel sure about checking anything by yourself, you should visit a professional mechanic to do all the checks for you.
Antifreeze, also known as engine coolant, is a vital part of your engine. During the winter, it prevents the water in the engine from freezing and causing all the piping systems to break.
If the water in your car freezes, it might be a while before you can drive your car again. To prevent this, you should always have a proper water to antifreeze ratio in your system. If you take your vehicle in for maintenance, a mechanic will always check the coolant to determine if it’s ready for the upcoming weather.
However, don’t wait for a scheduled service trip and open your hood from time to time to check the level of engine coolant in the expansion chamber. You have minimum and maximum marks where you can feel comfortable about having enough to run your engine properly.
By preparing yourself and your car properly before the winter, you can feel much safer driving your family, even on the most demanding terrains and in adverse weather conditions.
We recommend taking your car to an expert to check if you’re covered for the upcoming season, so that you can sleep better at night, knowing that you’re safe every time you start that engine