“Winter is Coming” is a phrase almost everyone is accustomed to hearing, thanks to the ever so popular Game of Throne series, yet we never seem ready to handle the chill associated with this season. Sure, we arm ourselves with jackets and woollens, stocking up on tea and coffee throughout the day to help combat the cold, but we forget our trusty aides, our cars during the winter.
India’s weather can go to great extremes, with certain parts of the country witnessing freezing temperatures. Take the case of Drass for example, a town in Jammu and Kashmir which is known for winter temperatures as low as -220 Celsius. Makes one feel lucky to be in places which aren’t as cold, right.
Regardless of where one stays, it is imperative that one understands that winter can have an impact on vehicles. So if you are one of those who treat a car as a member of your family, here are 5 tips which can help your car beat the chill.
Check the battery – There is a high possibility that the cold might impact the performance of your car’s battery. Imagine leaving home for an important meeting only to realise that your car won’t start. Bound to get anyone angry. Given the fact that most of us purchase a car for the convenience it offers (with a number of us taking car loans for the same), this single fault can make us feel cheated.
Make sure that your battery is checked to measure its performance, especially its voltage setting. If the report indicates chances of battery failure in the near future it would be a smart option to get the battery charged or replace it with a new one.
Ensure all the electricals are working – Imagine driving down from work at night only to find your headlights not working. This could be disastrous, for the chances of meeting with an accident are greatly increased. We have all come across a number of people who drive at night without the car headlights functioning, more often than not having missed hitting them by a whisker. With reduced sunlight hours, the probability of us driving in conditions which require the use of headlights increases.
Additionally, winter is also the time for fog related issues to crop up, which limit the visibility further. Fog lights can be a boon during these situations, while hazard lights become a prerequisite. Any electrical failure could lead to accidents which could see your life/health insurance policy kick in. Do note that even if you are insured, your insurance policy might not cover certain incidents, which makes it worthwhile to purchase an add-on accident benefit rider.
Keep an eye on the coolant – The coolant is extremely critical when it comes to driving in India. While in summers we tend to keep a close tab on the amount of coolant in our car, we overlook this in winter. In places where the temperature falls down to single digits, there is a possibility that the cold might have an adverse impact on the engine. A good coolant can help the car overcome the temperature.
Check the validity of your car insurance policy – Driving a car without a valid car insurance policy can attract a penalty. While this is the main driving force behind buying a car insurance policy, there are several other benefits associated with owning one. Check whether the policy is active during the season and renew it immediately if it has lapsed. A lapsed car insurance policy can have deep financial implications in case of any untoward incident.
Service the car – Servicing the car at an authorised service station can help identify any issues which might blow up during peak winter. Ensure that the technicians check all the parameters including fluid levels, working of brakes, tyre pressure, etc. Also, it would make sense to check the alignment of the wheels, for any deviation in this could result in the balance of the car being thrown off.
If you have a car insurance policy, you could get the car serviced at a network garage, which could help you save money.
While there is no escaping the winter chill, there are ways to make the most of it. So remembering these points, just as “The North Remembers”, could ensure that you have a smooth drive no matter how cold it gets.