As the temperatures drop this winter you may be facing some severe driving conditions.
Whether you live in a place with four seasons and guaranteed icy roads or just want to head up to the ski slopes for a day, you are sure to face some road conditions that will make it harder for your vehicle to grip the road.
Snow, slush, and ice can mean problems for your vehicle’s traction. And if the worst happens and you get stuck somewhere isolated or snowed in, it’s important to make sure you have winter-ready items on hand in your luxury car.
Driving in winter conditions can be dangerous and frightening, even if you grew up in Northern Minnesota and are a pro at cold-weather driving. So take precautions and prepare thoroughly whenever you are heading to colder climates this winter. You can not only prevent damage to your luxury car but you may be keeping your friends and family safe as well.
So let’s take a look at five important ways to winterize your luxury car in 2023.
Consider winter tires and chains.
Traction, again, is the big issue in winter. If your all-season tires can’t grip the road on that ski trip you may lose control of your vehicle and slide off the road. That’s why a full set of winter tires may be your best bet starting in November (or earlier if you want to beat the crowds). Winter tires – also known as snow tires - have a different type of tread to help them grip snow and ice and keep you from losing control on the road. Snow tires normally last three winters total and can help you avoid unnecessary bodywork from a fender bender while keeping you and your passengers safe even when the roads are treacherous. Usually, the mountain-peak-and-snowflake symbol on the sidewall of the tire denotes that they are suitable for winter. Chains, which can be purchased to keep in your trunk, can add an extra layer of protection in dangerous or white-out conditions. They may even be required by some states via flashing signs as you head up that mountain. So learn how to install them before you go so you are not caught out in a storm struggling to get them on your car.
Have some emergency supplies on hand.
If temperatures drop and snows start to fall, you can find yourself temporarily stranded or incapacitated if your engine won't start. Be sure to always carry and an extra blanket to keep you and your passengers warm - especially in the event that you lose heat. Carrying some extra sets of warm gloves, scarves, and boots will ensure that you can go out into the snow if you need to. Always include a flashlight in your winter stash as well as batteries. You never know when you may need to jump-start your engine or change a tire. Other possible items to include in your winter kit: A shovel and ice scraper. These could prove essential for removing ice, slush, or snow from your windshield and even around the tires. Bottled water and snacks might be a good idea as well.
Make sure your battery is working.
Cold weather can present a challenge to your vehicle’s battery if it’s weak. That’s because your car battery loses power as temperatures go down, especially if it’s in its waning years, to begin with. In fact, it may not even start when the wintery weather kicks in – or you are caught up in a blizzard at the top of the mountain. So make sure your battery gets tested before you head into that winter wonderland. And if you have any concerns think about simply replacing it altogether.
Make sure your wipers are working and fluids are topped off.
Make sure your wiper blades are in good working order before winter or before you leave on a mountain trip. Blades are susceptible to the cold and can even freeze and lift away from the windshield. At that point, they are no good for removing ice or snow or even heavy rain in some cases. So make sure you have a working blade that is flexible in the cold with a rubber covering that allows the body of the blade to remain in contact with the surface of your windshield. And while you’re at it make sure your washer fluid reservoir is topped off regularly and in winter use a solution that includes anti-freeze. It’s not a bad idea to keep an extra bottle in the trunk or rear of your SUV.
Make sure your luxury car's headlights can clearly be seen by other vehicles. If your headlights are getting older this may be the time to replace the bulbs. You can even align your headlights according to the manufacturer’s instruction - just by adjusting a knob or screw. This is important because the headlight covers can also become hazy due to oxidation of the plastic content that greatly reduces visibility. Headlight restoration kits can be purchased but you can also check with your dealership to make sure your headlights are in good working order.