Worry-Free Winter Travel
Winter has descended upon the nation once again, California may be spared from the harshness of cold weather, snow, and ice but other parts of the country are not so fortunate. If you are planning an out of state winter trip there are a few things you should do to prepare your vehicle for low temperatures and winter weather.
The expert technicians at Water Star Motors Inc. highly recommend booking a winter vehicle inspection at least one or two weeks before you intend on traveling. This way you can be confident that your vehicle will be able to handle whatever winter may throw at it. Particular attention should be paid to the brakes and exhaust system.
When you bring your vehicle to Water Star Motors Inc. for an inspection for winter traveling our technicians will check a variety of areas on your vehicle including the tires, exhaust system, battery and electrics, antifreeze, and the cabin air filter. These are the main components which can greatly affect your driving experience during winter.
TiresBefore setting off on a winter adventure it is best to make sure that your tires are in a good enough condition to drive safely on snow and ice. If you are traveling to a colder state for an extended period of time you should consider investing in, and fitting, a set of winter tires. These tires are designed to perform better in low temperatures and are made from softer materials to increase grip and traction. However, if it is only a short trip such as a long weekend you may not need winter tires but it is still advisable to have a professional check the condition of your tires. You may need to replace one, or more, of the tires or a simple tire rotation, may suffice. The friendly and helpful technicians here at Water Star Motors Inc. will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have and to explain the reasoning behind any recommendations they make.
The battery is what powers all of the electronic systems in your vehicle and low temperatures can severely affect how well the battery operates. Our technicians will run various tests on your vehicle’s battery to ensure that it will perform as intended in lower temperatures, but if the battery is 4, or more, years old you will be advised to replace it for a new one.
Battery and Electrical systems
Windshield wipers and fluidDriving in wintry conditions can be an incredibly dirty affair, road surfaces are wet and other vehicles will be kicking up water dirtied by sand, grit, and mud. All of this will slowly encase your vehicle in a layer dirt reducing visibility and obstructing your view of the road, so it is a good idea to make sure that everything from the windshield wipers to the nozzles are in perfect working condition. When you schedule a winter vehicle inspection at Water Star Motors Inc., our technicians will examine the entirety of the windshield washing system, including whether there are any blockages in the connecting hoses and nozzles, if the windshield wipers are dry, cracked or split, and that the windshield fluid bottle is full and without leaks.
We also recommend that you keep a full bottle of windshield fluid in your vehicle just in case you need to refill while on the road.
Exhaust systemMany of us don’t spare a second thought for the exhaust system on our vehicles, most of the time a damaged exhaust isn’t much of a serious issue. However, in winter a damaged exhaust can have dire consequences. Under normal working conditions, a blockage in the exhaust pipe will cause the engine to stall, damage to this system can cause the engine to keep running despite a blockage. So if you get stuck in a snowbank, stranded at the side of the road, or plowed in by a snow plow you should cut the engine immediately, if your exhaust system is damaged and you leave the engine running you run the risk of the vehicle filling with deadly carbon monoxide. A vehicle inspection from Water Star Motors Inc. prior to your trip could potentially save your life.
The cabin air filter is responsible for, you guessed it, filtering the air used by your vehicles heaters. If this filter is blocked defrosting your windows and heating the vehicle will take much, much longer than usual, this will also lengthen the time needed to de-fog your windows while driving which could greatly affect visibility.
Cabin Air Filter
Part of a winter vehicle inspection is checking the antifreeze system, this includes testing the antifreeze itself for signs of residue floating in the tank and ensuring that there are no blockages to obstruct its flow.
The checklist above includes examples of what our technicians will look for when you bring your vehicle to Water Star Motors Inc. for an inspection for winter travel. The technicians are highly experienced and knowledgeable at preparing vehicles for winter travel and will make sure that your vehicle is up to the task.
Other than booking a vehicle inspection, our technicians also recommend that you prepare an emergency kit to be kept in your vehicle. They suggest that it contains:
• A first aid kit;
• A torch;
• A candle and lighter;
• Spare winter clothing;
• Jumper cables;
• Snacks with a long shelf life such as jerky;
• A warm drink in a thermos.
This way you and your passengers can keep warm and comfortable while waiting for roadside rescue.
Why risk the health and wellbeing of yourself and your family, give Water Star Motors Inc. a call on (831) 621-5834, visit them at 318-A River Street, Santa Cruz, CA, 95060, or book an appointment online for help preparing your vehicle for that winter vacation! Don’t hesitate in contacting them if you have any questions or for more information about preparing your vehicle for winter travel.