The winter solstice is just two short days away, which means we'll officially be in the swing of winter. And we've certainly been feeling the winter already with all this rain! Fortunately, we live in San Diego so we don't have the same perils of winter that other cities and states have, like ice and snow and crazy winds for three months. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't be taking precaution and getting your car ready for this new season. Here are the top tips for how to get your car ready for winter, and you can always reference these tips on driving in the rain as often as you need to.
Winterize Your Car
- Check your battery: Car batteries can be reduced by cold weather, and even though chances are slim it won't be getting terribly cold in San Diego it's still a good idea to check your battery capacity and the battery wires. If there is any cracking in the wires have them replaced - it would be the worst to be stranded with a dead battery during a downpour or when you're traveling to colder regions.
- Check your windshield wiper fluid: With all the rain coming down during the winter it can be easy to forget to refill your windshield wiper fluid or think you don't need it. The rain can cause all sorts of issues while driving, including reducing visibility. And if you have anything stuck to your windshield you'll want to clear it away immediately. While you're at it, check those wiper blades and make sure they're supple and clean.
- Pay attention to your tires: Flats are common during the winter because we often can't see everything that's in the road and it's a bit harder to feel the road when it's raining. You could run over glass or a nail and not notice until your tire is flat. It's especially important to have excellent tires during the winter, so pay attention to their condition every time you drive. Tire air pressure drops even when the weather is 10 degrees colder, which is something San Diego drivers will experience. Keep them inflated and inspect them often. (Bonus tip: if there's any chance you'll be driving on snowy roads keep chains in your trunk.)
- Check your brakes!: It's no secret that rainy weather makes San Diego drivers freak out a little bit, so make sure those brakes are in tip top condition before getting onto the road.
- Get regular car washes: Just because it rains regularly during the winter doesn't mean you're always getting a free car wash. Especially cars that drive and park on city streets, rain can help dirt and dust stick to your car causing scratches when it dries just enough. If you park under a tree the rain can send all kinds of nature onto your car, so be sure to keep your car clean this winter.
- Have supplies on hand: You never know when that 5 minute trip to the store can turn into a harrowing ordeal, regardless of the season, so it's always best to have a few things in your car at all times. You should always have a water bottle, a spare tire (a working one), jumper cables, a working flashlight with extra batteries, and a non-perishable snack. An extra jacket and umbrella are good winter additions to your supply kit this winter.
Image courtesy of The Art of Manliness