It’s the most wonderful time of the year! But it might not be the same for your car. As the weather gets colder this holiday season, your car might require more attention than usual. Whether you decide to take a long trip to someplace warmer for the winter, or just sit at home wrapped in blankets with a warm beverage in your hand, you want to make sure that your car is well taken care of this holiday season.
Especially after the year, we’ve had - this Christmas, safety should be a priority. Here are a few holiday safety tips for safe driving this season and to keep your car in tip-top shape!
Buy a cover for your car
If you’re taking a holiday and leaving your car behind, don’t let it face the cold winters alone without any protection. Harsh weather conditions can affect your car as much as it affects you.
A great holiday safety tip would be to get a good quality car cover and cover your car before you leave. This would protect your car from external factors that could potentially damage your car, and act as a deterrent for theft.
Take your car in for maintenance
Before you drive anyway with your car for the holidays, it is always a good idea to take your car in for a regular maintenance check. This would avoid any mishaps along the way and allows for a smooth and safe ride.
Clean your car thoroughly
As the weather gets colder, the temperatures can cause your windshield to fog or frost. If you’re driving your car in cold weather conditions, you need to ensure visibility for safe driving. So if you’re planning on heading out or travelling during the Christmas season, make sure that your car is cleaned thoroughly before you start.
If you live in regions that are prone to cold, almost freezing temperatures, wash your windshield, mirrors, windows, and all light units with lukewarm water before taking your car out. Do not use hot water, as the sudden change in temperature can cause the glass to crack.
Check your tire pressure
As the temperature drops, your tire pressure can drop as well. That’s why it is of the utmost importance that you check your tire pressure before driving and adjust it accordingly.
When adjusting the pressure of your tire, make sure that it is at the recommended pressure and not over or below. An underinflated tire won’t provide the necessary grip to drive in the cold weather, and an overinflated one can cause skidding, especially if you’re driving in slippery conditions.
It is also essential to check your tire treads - if they are worn out, it’s best to replace them for safety reasons. You can consider using tires made specifically for the winter, with deeper treads that would provide the required grip for a safe drive.
Test your battery
Your car’s battery goes through a lot as well during the winters. In the colder season, your car would demand a lot out of the battery, which means that it drains quicker than it usually would. In addition to this, the cold weather reduced the battery’s ability to produce the current needed.
What you need to do is to keep your car in the garage when not in use, so as to protect the battery from the cold. A newer battery would also ensure that there are no engine troubles along the way, so if your vehicle’s battery is old, it is recommended you replace it with a new one. While car batteries aren’t cheap, it will save you more money in the long run and definitely pays off in terms of safety.
Check engine oil and coolant
We aren’t the only ones who get a little slow to start when the weather gets cold - your car can experience the same as well. This is mainly due to the engine oil, which tends to get thick in cold temperatures. When the oil gets thick, it demands more of the engine which can lead to it overexerting itself and eventually malfunctioning.
You can ensure your safety and that of your car’s this Christmas by researching the right viscosity. In the winter season, the lower the viscosity of the oil, the better. That’s why engine oil manufacturers have introduced oil with low viscosity specifically for the cold weather.
It is also important to keep a check on your coolant levels when checking your car’s engine. In addition to cooling down the overexerted engine, the coolant also helps keep the water in the radiator from freezing if the temperature ever drops to 0 degree celsius or less.
<h2>Keep your tank filled</h2>
A great Christmas safety tip is to keep your tank full or at least half full in the cold season. This is so that condensation doesn’t occur and affect your fuel tank. The condensation can also affect your fuel lines, preventing the petrol/diesel from reaching your car which can result in the car stalling at the most inopportune moments.
You can avoid this by ensuring that your tank is filled at least halfway with the appropriate fuel so that mishaps don’t happen in the middle of the road.
Get Own Damage insurance
The weather can get really harsh, especially during the winter. Sometimes, no matter how many precautionary steps you take, unexpected situations do take place. Nature is unpredictable, so one of the best Christmas safety steps you can take to protect your car from the winter is to get Own Damage insurance.
While Own Damage isn’t mandatory, we highly recommend you get one for the holiday season. This would provide that extra layer of protection, so in the event of an accident or damage to your car during your holiday, it wouldn’t add to your expenses or leave you stranded.
At Chola MS, our Own Damage policy gives you the benefit of unlimited claims until your IDV is exhausted, and a lot of benefits and add-ons that you can avail yourself with the insurance - one of which is roadside assistance, which would be especially helpful if you’re driving for the holidays. You can get your Own Damage policy here.
<h2>Ensure COVID-19 protection</h2>
While the lockdown is slowly easing up, the pandemic is still at large and we aren’t exactly immune to the virus. That’s why it’s important to follow all the safety precautions, especially this Christmas if you’re taking a trip away from home. Make sure that you wear your mask, carry sanitizer, and do not take more than three to four people in your car.
In addition to these safety precautions, it’s also important and extremely beneficial to go that extra mile and get yourself and your family a COVID-19 insurance cover for extra protection. As there are many things still unknown about the virus, it can be scary to travel. With a COVID-19 cover, you can travel with a little peace of mind, knowing that you’ll be covered in the event of a positive diagnosis. Insure yourself against COVID-19 here.
After the year we’ve had, it’s understandable that you’d want to be able to celebrate this Christmas season with your family and friends. But it’s essential that you’re doing it safely. With these pointers, your Christmas safety can go hand-in-hand with your Christmas celebrations. Follow these holiday safety tips to ensure that this season really is the most wonderful time of the year, for you and your vehicle.