We like winter when it snows on mountain ski slopes but we like less when it freezes on the roads because it drastically increases the risk of accidents. Before taking the wheel, you must already prepare your car and if it sleeps outside, there are 7 things to avoid during the freezing season
Apply the hand brake
Usually, you park your car every night with the handbrake on, do you agree? Well, when the night looks cold, don’t apply your hand brake. This is because the frost may simply block the brake shoes and you will not be able to drive properly afterwards. The solution is to engage a gear to stop the car. However, in the case of a collision, it is the gearbox that will be touched.
Do not change the tire pressure
The tire pressure, which should be checked regularly as a reminder, varies according to the outside temperature. Tire pressure decreases when the outside temperature is low. To compensate for this “low temperature” effect in winter, it is necessary to add 0.2 bar (cold) to the current operating pressure or to the pressure of other winter tyre uses.
Pour hot water over the windshield
It’s THE galley from morning to winter: de-icing the windshield. To do this, everyone has their own technique: windshield covering, cardboard, scraper, de-icer and water! Cold water will soften the frost on the windshield but will likely freeze very quickly if temperatures are negative. To defrost faster, some motorists are tempted to use hot water, but this is something to avoid because it literally creates a thermal shock and can lead to broken glass or even cracks.
Turn on all energy-intensive
In my article, the 10 tips to prepare your car for a safe winter: I have already discussed the need to give the engine time to warm up. Starting full throttle with a poorly lubricated cold engine by pushing the gears will only cause premature damage to the moving parts of your car’s engine block and gearbox. It is also necessary to preserve the battery which does not like the cold and therefore limit the time that the engine heats all the options requiring an overload of energy to be provided: the integrated GPS, the heated seats… And take your time before putting your smartphone to recharge
Roll down the windows
As with the windshield, remember to defrost the windows properly so that you don’t have to activate them to see the incoming cars. The windows move up and down with a small electric motor that could lock and break if the windows are frosted.
Break the locks
The motorist who ends up breaking his car key while trying to force it into a frozen lock is not a myth, it has happened to many people before. On the other hand, the lighter technique that heats the metal part of the key is not recommended because of the electronic components in the key head. The best thing to do if you ever find yourself in this situation is to use a de-icer lock or silicone lubricant available in the car centre or large surface that you insert directly into the lock.
Activate the windscreen wipers
The rubber of the wiper blades tends to stick to the windshield due to frost. To speed up windscreen defrosting, you may try to activate the wipers with a defrosting washer. This is a bad idea because the rubber brushes will get damaged by rubbing the gel. If you use cardboard or winter tarpaulin, the wipers will hold the protection while avoiding sticking to the windshield.