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Winter Is Coming: Is Your Vehicle Ready?

By December 18, 2015No Comments

As winter approaches and the temperature drops, getting out on the roads becomes less of a carefree drive and more of a calculated risk, especially if your area experiences frequent sub-freezing temperatures. Navigating the roads with snow, ice and rain is difficult, which is why being prepared to deal with the elements can help you avoid unpleasant or even dangerous situations. Here are some items to help cope with the drastic change in weather.

A Battery Tender

Battery Tender

If you have a motorcycle, jet-ski, riding mower or any other vehicle which sees more use during the warmer months, you probably tuck it away in the garage for the winter. Unless you regularly wake the vehicle from hibernation and run the motor for a little while, the battery can drain and die. This can be a pain to deal with. Chances are the next time you notice the problem will be when you take it out for a spin. You could buy a new battery after every winter, but it definitely isn’t cost-effective.

A battery tender can keep the charge throughout extended periods of non-use, and ensure you don’t kill the lifespan prematurely. These little tenders also have the ability to switch charging modes so you don’t have to worry about overheating or damage.

Winter Tires

If you are taking a trip up to the mountains for a day to play in the snow, chains will work just fine in foul weather. However, if you are in an area seeing snow and ice throughout the winter, a better course of action is to slap on some winter tires. This will help ensure better traction for braking, accelerating and handling on the road in slick conditions.

Winter tires are not necessarily studded and knobby. Many have small ridges which run perpendicular to the overall tread to help grip the ice. Also the chemical composition of the rubber used for winter tires is very different from summer or 3-season tires, which improves the way the tires react to the low temperatures. These still won’t be able to save you from bad driving all the time, but it will definitely help to make up for some of nature’s curveballs.

Tough Floor Mats

Huskey Mat

Rainfall is common in the wintertime for most regions in the US. I love the rain but hate tracking the water and sludge into my ride. I’ve also been a victim of my own clumsiness and spilled a cup of coffee or two across the kick panels. Husky Liner’s WeatherBeater floor liners are an easy fix for both scenarios. They come with a raised side ridge to trap any mud, snow, water, coffee or whatever else can end up on the floor of your vehicle and keep it from spilling over.

What’s really cool about them is they are form-fit to the specific vehicle via laser-mapping the floor panels. This means they will cover the exact area needing protection. The thick material is durable, guaranteed for life, and made in the USA. Those are three key characteristics in my book. It’s one of those things to make life easier, and makes for one less thing to worry about.

Emergency Jump Starter

Jump Starter

A set of jumper cables should always be part of the basic emergency-ready kit in your vehicle. However, one of the last things you want to do on a frigid winter night is wait around in a parking lot for someone to recharge your dead battery. A nifty portable jump starter is a great hack to this potential problem, and ensures you have a flashlight at the ready for urgent roadside flat tire situations too. The 13,600mAh power bank has USB ports for charging devices, a laptop port, jumper cables and a built-in air compressor with 80psi max. The air compressor feature is the icing on the cake for me. There are a lot of different jumpers out there but one which combines all of these is really a roadside savior.

Oil Quality Tester

Oil Quality Tester

Everyone knows it is critical to regularly change your motor oil to avoid early malfunction. Luckily this gadget helps to pinpoint exactly when is the best time to change it. Why is this important for cold weather? Well, when you fire up your engine from a cold start the oil is thick and moves like molasses. This adds a lot of pressure on the system, and makes it hard for your filter to work properly. If you have old oil with a lot of debris and contaminants, this makes the filtration even more difficult. With the pressure building it can create the potential for a catastrophic failure.

Quite often people change their oil too early or too late. Changing oil too early wastes money and does not optimize oil use. Changing it too late causes unnecessary wear and stress on the vehicle. Oil these days has a much longer lifespan than before, but knowing when the right time to change it can save you from unnecessary trouble. The Lubricheck oil tester can detect additives like water, dirt, carbon, antifreeze and metals in your car’s oil and keep you in the know when it comes to maintaining optimal oil health for your vehicle.

Salt-free Ice Melter

Ice Melter

If you live in an area prone to snow and ice on the road, you know there are two things coming with the winter weather, horrible drivers and road slush rusting your vehicle. Salt is a common method for removing road ice, but it has a detrimental effect on the metal used on automobiles. It causes a rapid acceleration in the oxidization process. Salt adds ions to the road water, snow and ice, which acts as an electrolyte and catalyst for corrosion on metal. Safe Paws is salt-free, so it does not have any potential to add these elements to the road. It is safe for children and animals, so you can use it on a deck, driveway or walkways around the yard. You can’t change what the city puts on the roads, but if you use salt to clear the ice on your driveway this could help slow down the rusting on your car.

Winter Travels

We hope you found our guide on preparing your vehicle for winter weather helpful. Feel free to check out some of our other automotive related posts here on the Newegg Blog.

What are some of your tips to deal with the cold weather? Will you be traveling far this Holiday season?

Author Gregory Rice

Greg is a collector of hobbies, steeped in a love for the outdoors. Drop him in the woods and he's more at home backpacking, hunting, fishing, camping, and drinking out of streams than he is behind a desk pounding away at a keyboard. He's an avid homebrewing enthusiast and a craft beer fanatic. He enjoys testing out the latest drone tech and is a firm believer in the power of IoT and home automation tech to bring us into a more productive future (or give way to Skynet, time will tell).

More posts by Gregory Rice