With winter here you may be wondering how best to protect your car from snow and ice. There may be a few car maintenance items you may have forgotten or procrastinated. Here’s a refresher of what you should check before hitting the road.
Why Is Snow Bad for Your Car?
Snow may be pretty to look at, but it can also cause problems. With temperatures dropping and snow accumulating, your car can experience windshield cracks, damage to the paint finish, or rust and corrosion.
9 Ways to Protect Your Car From Snow Damage
Here’s how you can prevent snow damage and protect your ride.
Find Covered Parking Where Possible
An easy way to protect your car is by placing it in a garage or carport to keep it covered or enclosed. Heavy snow can freeze making it harder to remove buildup of snow or ice, especially once temperatures drop. Another possible hazard you’ll want to avoid is heavy icicles that accumulate and fall from roofs. Icicle damage can chip your paint, crack or break your windows.
Use a Windshield Cover
But what if there isn’t covered parking available? A windshield cover is an easy option that can be helpful and protect your windshield from snow and ice. These covers can come in handy if you work someplace without covered parking, and as a perk you won’t have to spend time in the cold trying to remove the ice from your windshield.
Raise Your Wipers
Another way to easily protect your windshield is by raising the windshield wipers. Raising the wipers before a snow or ice storm can make it easier to clear your windshield and prevent them from getting stuck and breaking.
Double-Check Door and Window Seals
Always make sure to double-check that your doors and windows are closed. If you don’t have covered parking and leave your car out in the elements, water or snow can get inside your car and may cause interior damage. It’s too cold out to deal with snow inside your car!
Use Proper Tools for Snow and Ice Removal
When it comes to removing snow and ice, it’s important to know how to clean snow off your car to prevent damage. Searching for a quick how-to video can be helpful if you’ve never dealt with snow or ice, but also having the proper tools like a snow brush, ice scraper and a shovel can make the process easier. Even using household items such as cooking spray on your ice scraper or shovel can help prevent the snow from accumulating on those tools.
Wash Off Road Salt
Taking your car through the car wash doesn’t take very long, and it’s a must during the winter months. If you’re not doing this often in the winter, you may regret it. Corrosion may happen due to all the salt and sand on the roads. Salt and sand help make the roads safer but may also cause serious damage to your paint and car altogether. Make sure that your car is winter-ready and you are prepared before the temperatures start to drop.
Invest in Weather-Proof Fluids
Making sure you have weather-proof fluids in your car is another important task to check off the list. Taking your vehicle in for a yearly or seasonal check-up may be beneficial and make it easier for you to know which fluids your car needs to be better prepared for the winter months. Fluids like windshield wiper fluid is one you should double-check is the correct weather-proof type.
Swap in Winter Tires
During colder months, sudden drops in temperature can cause tire pressure to lower. Make sure to check the tire pressure often so they’re at the correct pressure level. When your tires are at the correct pressure, your vehicle can drive better and safer in winter conditions and can also help you save on gas. Every vehicle has a different ideal tire pressure, so make sure to review your car manual.
Keep Your Tank Half Full
Always running on a low tank? This is one habit that you should break during the winter months. It’s crucial that you aim to have at least half a tank of gas in your car. With the road conditions being trickier during the winter there’s a higher chance of getting stuck somewhere on the side of the road. Having enough gas can allow you to keep your car running and help stay warm if you must wait in your car. It’s also important to keep a roadside emergency kit in your car if you ever get stranded, especially during winter months.
Does Car Insurance Cover Snow Damage?
Now that you’re prepared to hit the road, is your ride covered? It’s always a good rule of thumb to look over your car insurance every so often to make sure you’re getting the right coverage and best deal to fit your needs. Reach out to your local Farm Bureau agent to discuss the right coverage for you, which could consist of comprehensive coverage and collision coverage, and see if it will cover any snow and ice accidents.