With winter’s coldest months now upon us, there are a whole host of issues we can run into with our cars. Whether it’s grabbing the scraper to remove the snow and ice clogging the windshield, or dealing with a dead battery, it can be frustrating and time consuming. That’s why CDSPI Home & Auto Insurance* partner, The Personal, has created this driver’s guide for solving common winter car problems.
- Dead battery
Most car batteries last 4-5 years. Have your local mechanic perform a load test on your battery before the temperature drops. While driving, you can reduce drain on your battery by lowering the heater fan speed and turning off the window defrosters when not needed. Put jumper cables in your vehicle – and ensure you know how to use them safely. It also doesn’t hurt to have a roadside assistance membership.
- Icy windshield
To prevent frost from forming on your windshield, try this: Blanket the windshield with cardboard, old bathmats or even a plastic tablecloth. In the morning, you just pull it off and shake off the snow.
- Frozen windows and door locks
- Unlock another door first.
- Wearing gloves, heat your car key using a lighter and gently press it into the lock.
- Use a hairdryer or a drinking straw to blow hot air directly on the lock for a couple of minutes.
- Silicone spray, WD40 or cooking spray can be used proactively on windows and locks to prevent freezing.
- Keep a can of lock de-icer handy.
- Frosty inside windows
Prevent frost inside your windows by removing any wet floor mats and allowing them to dry inside overnight. Consider leaving the silicon packets that come in shoeboxes in the car to absorb moisture. You can also purchase anti-fog spray at your local hardware store.
- Windshield wiper problems
Slide a pair of old socks over your windshield wipers in the evening to keep them from icing over. You can also unfreeze wipers by soaking a soft cloth in full-strength rubbing alcohol, then wiping each blade. Or, simply lift them up overnight.
- Cold engine
Let your engine idle for 30 seconds before heading out. Anything more wastes fuel, increases engine wear and reduces the life of engine oil. Consider a block heater, an electric engine heater that you plug in at night to keep your coolant and oil warm. This will reduce fuel consumption and allow the cabin to heat up faster.
Before you head out
Stock your car with a snow brush, lightweight shovel, booster cables, gloves, windshield wiper fluid, and a flashlight. Keep an emergency kit in your car, including water bottles and non-perishable food items. Keep your gas tank at least half full. It can help reduce moisture and freezing in the fuel system; plus, it allows you to run your car for warmth if you get stuck.
It’s important to stay safe on the roads this winter. CDSPI Auto Insurance offers exclusive rates, customizable coverage, and an unbeatable client experience. Call The Personal toll-free at 1.877.277.7230 or visit online to get a quote.
*CDSPI Home & Auto Insurance is underwritten by The Personal Insurance Company and is distributed by CDSPI Advisory Services Inc. Home Insurance is not currently available to residents of Quebec.