Despite cumbersome winter weather, cruising in the frostiest season can go much more smoothly when you anticipate and prepare accordingly for cold weather car problems. Make this winter your smoothest one yet with our list of five winter car problems and how to solve them.
1. Dead Battery
One of the most trying things that can happen is a dead battery. The possibility of being stranded either alone or with your family at any location is unsettling, to say the least. The average lifespan of a car battery is between four to five years. If you haven’t had your battery checked in three years, get it tested before the temperature drops at your local mechanic. They’ll perform a load test on it to see if it’s in good condition.
Other ways of preventing your battery from fading include reducing the fan speed of your heater and turning off the glass defrosters right after the window has been defogged. If you drive a standard vehicle, downshift when you’re in traffic. Finally, turn off all the elements during the last leg of your trip, since your car will already be warm and home is on the horizon.
If you find yourself in the unpleasant scenario of having a dead battery, you’ll be better off if you have jumper cables packed, along with other essential items, in your car emergency kit. Having a CAA roadside assistance membership can help a lot when you’re in a bind. The driver can give you a boost and in some cases, can even sell you a new battery.
2. Icy Windshield
To prevent an icy windshield, try this helpful trick. If the forecast calls for subzero temperatures tomorrow, take a raw onion half and rub across all your windows and windshield. Surprisingly, this prevents frost from forming on the glass! Another option is to blanket the windshield with cardboard and cover side mirrors with plastic bags, secured with an elastic.
3. Frozen Door Lock
If your car door lock is frozen, heat your car key using a lighter or match and gently press it into the lock in order to melt the ice. Alternatively, silicone spray can be used proactively on windows and locks to prevent freezing.
4. Frosty Inner Windows
Sometimes, due to warm air rising and making contact with glass, windows can get a light layer of inner frost. One preventative tip is to keep your floors dry by removing wet floor mats and allowing them to dry inside. Another idea is to purchase anti fog at your local hardware store. A neat trick is to leave the silicon packets that come in shoeboxes and electronics in the car, as they absorb moisture.
5. Car Won’t Start
After an extra cold evening, sometimes your school and work routine is compromised by a car that won’t start. First, turn the key and hold it for exactly 20 seconds, do not keep cranking your key. Use a block heater to keep your engine and oil warm overnight. They’re reasonably priced, run on electiricity and can limit the amount of time you spend warming up the car yourself everyday. Also, try using a battery blanket to insulate the battery overnight and remove before starting your car.
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These tips are provided for information and prevention purposes only. They are general in nature, and Desjardins Insurance cannot be held liable for them. We recommend using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, tailored advice.
In Quebec, Desjardins Insurance refers to Desjardins General Insurance Inc. In Ontario and Alberta, Desjardins Insurance refers to Certas Direct Insurance Company, underwriter of automobile and property insurance.