Whether you use your car purely for commuting to work, for getting your family around, for your business, or you make longer trips on a regular basis, keeping your car ready for the different conditions that you may experience on the road depending on the seasons is crucial to making sure you get where you need to go safely.
Naturally, conditions vary depending on where you live, and the things that you may need to do to prepare your car will also depend on the type of car that you drive and the type of trips that you regularly make. However, there are some things that all car owners should be doing when preparing for summer or winter conditions. There are also some things that you can do all year round that will make driving safer regardless of what the weather throws at you.
Why Being Prepared for Different Weather Conditions is So Important
Making changes to your car and the things that you keep in your car is important in different seasons because you will have to deal with different possible risks. In any case, getting stranded on the road can be a problem if you experience a breakdown or minor accident, and this is something that will be difficult to cope with depending on whether you are in very cold or very hot conditions. As well as this, your car may need to be adjusted in some ways to cope with severe cold weather or extreme heat. Plus, you may also need some products that will help you deal with these conditions.
Things That Will Help You Drive Safely and Maintain Your Car All Year Round
Before we take a look at some of the things you may want to do to your car or keep in your car in summer or winter, here are some things that you should be doing all year round to make sure that you are always well prepared in case something bad happens while you are on the road.
Good Roadside Assistance Packages
One of the first things you should always ensure that you invest in is a good roadside assistance package. This is especially important if you need to rely on your car for work or family things, or if you make regular trips outside of the city. Even people who generally only drive around town can benefit from having this kind of package. The reason why it is so important is that being stranded with your car on a major road can be very inconvenient – you may be there for quite a long time even if you do have a good package because, in extreme conditions, it can take a long time for your tow to get to you. However, if you have a package that you can rely on, at least you do know that somebody is coming to your aid eventually, and the cost of this is already covered in your subscription. If you do not have good roadside assistance, getting help in an emergency can be very costly and can also take even longer.
A local roadside assistance company such as https://www.fastsydneytowing.com.au can be a better choice as they cover a smaller area and will be able to reach you more quickly.
Spare Batteries for Your Phone
Of course, roadside assistance is only any good if you can get in touch with the company who provide the service to you. You may also find that you need to use your phone for Sat Nav if your car’s system stops working, or if you are just using your phone for that purpose in general. So that you can get in touch with people in an emergency, you should carry a spare battery, such as an external battery pack you can plug in using a USB cable.
It can also be a good idea to have the phone numbers of important people, such as your roadside assistance company, emergency services, and the people you need to inform if you were to be late as a result of a car incident, for example, your employer, on a sheet of paper. This means that if something happens that prevents you from using your phone, you will be able to at least have the numbers to hand if you need to borrow a phone from someone else or use a payphone.
A Jumpstart Kit
A flat battery is often the most common cause of not being able to start a car when in a new location. Good battery maintenance is important but be sure that you have a way to jump start your car if this happens to you. A good jump start kit can be inexpensive and something you can carry in your car for emergencies. It is also something that you may be able to use to help other road users who have become stranded.
Considerations for Getting Your Car Ready for Winter
On top of the year-round things that we have just discussed, there are some additional precautions that are good to take in winter. You may need to do more things to your car if you live somewhere that experiences extreme snow or ice, but if that is the case you are probably aware of these! These are some good general preparations most road users should make for winter.
If you live in conditions where there is a lot of snow in the winter or you make a lot of trips out into the countryside, you may need to actually replace your tyres with winter tyres. You may even need to consider putting chains on your tyres to deal with snow. For most road users, however, it is more important just to have your tyre pressures checked ahead of this season so that your existing tyres are prepared for colder conditions that affect the pressure.
Even in locations where you do not normally experience heavy snow, floods, ice or other dangerous road conditions, you may still have the odd day where there is unexpected extreme weather. To ensure that you are safe while you are waiting for assistance if you get stuck in bad conditions, it is a good idea to keep blankets, a torch, water, some food that doesn’t spoil, and something for entertainment such as a book in your car just in case you end up having to wait a while for assistance. Keeping warm can be quite difficult when the car has failed because you will not have its radiator, so having blankets and warm clothing that you can use to stay warm can be very important in emergency situations.
Keep a supply of products you can use to de-freeze your car, including the windscreen, in cold conditions. While you can normally get away with just doing this in the morning before you set out in your car, it can be beneficial to have these things in the vehicle in case you need them later.
Considerations for Getting Your Car Ready for Summer
Summer conditions tend not to be quite as harsh as winter ones should you get stranded, however, your vehicle should be checked over before the summer so that you know that you are able to rely on its ability to avoid overheating.
Checking the Air Conditioning
If you live somewhere that gets very hot in summer, you almost certainly rely on the air conditioning in your vehicle. It is a good idea to get this checked out in early spring just to ensure that there are no faults that will cause it to fail when the weather heats up. Checking the car’s radiator is also important as this is usually the cause of the car overheating.
Stock up on Different Supplies
In summer, it is still wise to keep a survival kit of some kind in your vehicle. However, you will need different things to what you would need in winter. You may not need to carry blankets, but you should probably consider having a large supply of water or other drinks so that you can be sure to stay hydrated if you have to wait for assistance at any time.
Cars left parked out in the sun can become unbearably hot. If you do not have tinted windows on your vehicle that prevent some of the heat getting in, it is a good idea to invest in a reflective window shade to use on your windshield. This can help prevent your car from turning into an oven.
There are plenty of other considerations for the more extreme seasons dependent on the climate that you live in and the kind of car that you use. However, all these tips are very useful for people in most of the world, as they can help ensure that you are able to take care of yourself in an emergency, contact the people that you need to, and have a good service to take you and your car to safety.