When you live in an area where you know the temperature will fall below freezing, it is important to prepare your car in advance. You should not wait until the things have already gone out of hand. Something that needs your attention is your windshield wiper blades. The best thing here is to have heated windshield wiper blades installed for winter driving. These heated wiper blades are connected to the defrost system in your vehicle and they work automatically whenever there is a chance of any ice build-up on your windscreen.
Even when you have ordinary windshield wiper blades installed, you should also pay attention to prepare them for the winter season. If they are not in a perfect condition, you should consider replacing them. Again, switching to heated windshield wiper blade is a better idea, but if those blades are not compatible with your vehicle, be sure to get new ones installed before the season starts. It is also important to check there is enough washing fluid in the reservoir and it has a low freezing point or else it can damage the tank.
Here are some other steps to take to prepare your vehicle for the snow, ice, and freezing temperatures:
- You should opt for winter tires – all four of them need to be changed irrespective of whether you it is a rear-wheel, front-wheel, or four-wheel-drive. Keep in mind that all-season tires do not serve well as winter tires.
- You should check the battery before the season starts. You might need a new battery if it is more than three years old. When not sure, you should have it tested and replace it if there is any issue.
- Take advantage of block heater, especially if you have to park your car out and the overnight temperature goes below -20C. Using an outdoor electrical outlet timer is a good choice here because it saves you from delayed morning start-ups.
- Keep a survival kit in the trunk. No matter how prepared you think you are, things can go wrong when the temperature is extremely low. You may want to keep some additional washer fluid with you along with a lightweight snow shovel, an ice scraper, a pair of lined work gloves, and a bright flashlight. You may also want to keep a first-aid kit as well as a set of emergency reflectors in the trunk.
Again, you should seriously think of having heated windshield wiper blades installed to have a peace of mind when driving your car in freezing temperatures. It is important to keep in mind though that you can use these wiper blades only when your car is pre-built for it. As mentioned already, these blades are to be connected to the defrost system in your car, and in the absence of this system, there will be nothing to connect to your windshield wiper blades. There are little wires with tabs coming out of the heated windshield wiper blades and those tabs are to be attached into your vehicle. Therefore, it is better to check the Vehicle Identification Number and use it to confirm if your car supports heated windshield wiper blades or not. Make a purchase only after you have confirmed it.