There are many benefits to having an all wheel drive vehicle, even if you do not take it off road. In poor weather conditions, like rain, snow, and ice it helps to provide an additional level of safety, and helps the vehicle to grip the road. But there are also other things which need to be done to prepare a vehicle with 4x4 chassis extensions for the winter weather. Below are a number of things you can do to help winterize your 4x4.
Prep Your Tires
Snow tires are ideal for driving in winter weather conditions. If you reside in an area that has a significant winter season, they are worth the investment. They should be changed out with your regular tires before the first snow storm, and then can be changed back to all terrain tires after the winter season is over. Another option to snow tires is to have chains placed on your tires. In some cases, where there are extreme winter conditions, it might even be necessary to use chains in combination with snow tires, but this is usually not the case. Lastly, when having your tires installed on your vehicle, ask your technician if they can sipe your tires using a siping machine, which will help to further improve your traction.
Check Your Fluids
Double check both your antifreeze and oil before the first freeze. If in an area that is below freezing the majority of the winter, ask your mechanic for an antifreeze and oil that is graded for colder temperatures. They can usually make these changes for you at the time you get your oil change done just before winter begins. This is also a great time to have your 4x4 chassis extensions, windshield wipers and windshield washer fluid changed to one with antifreeze added to it to prevent the lines from freezing in a winter storm, making it impossible to clean a windshield during the winter.
In the winter it is important to plan ahead for cold weather. Make sure to have an ice scraper handy for clearing windows off easily. Also, consider having windshield deicer handy for difficulty cleaning ice off the windows. Most importantly, do not use hot or warm water to deice windows. It can cause them to crack or break. Lastly, plan enough time to start your car, getting defrost and heat before start driving. Not only will it help to get the car more comfortable, but it will also make it easier to view out the windows and be safer. Before winter hits is also an ideal time to have the car’s heater checked.
Check the Battery
A dead battery can be frustrating no matter what time of year it might be, but it is even more frustrating and may be life threatening in a winter storm. Not to mention, when a battery is cold, it works harder in order to be able to start a vehicle. Your mechanic should be able to check your battery fairly easily, and many places will do it free of charge. If there is a chance it might not be good, make sure to replace it, or even consider having a spare battery in case you get stranded in a remote location or in a winter storm.
Double Check the Weather
Before planning any significant road trip in the winter months, make sure to double check the weather before leaving. Make adjustments for more time if necessary, or consider leaving a day later or earlier if necessarily in your vehicle with 4x4 chassis extensions. If you are unsure if the roads are safe to travel, check with the local authorities before leaving.