Winter can bring about some challenges that can affect your morning commute. While it may be slow or unpleasant due to bad weather, it is important to take care of basic tasks to prepare your vehicle for the winter season. Even if you do not travel frequently during this time, using your pickup truck once or twice a week can still lead to potential issues. To avoid any potential problems, here are five mistakes to avoid when servicing your pickup truck for winter.
1. Ignoring your wipers
Many people often overlook their windshield wipers until it is too late. Have you checked when you last changed them? It is likely that you have not. Wipers that seemed fine during the summer may start to deteriorate once the cold weather arrives. You do not want to be driving with wipers that leave streaks or, even worse, cause scratches on your windshield. Keep in mind that using the wipers to remove heavy snow can damage both the wiper motor and the wipers themselves. It is best to remove the snow buildup from your windshield with a proper snow removal brush and allow your pickup to heat up before running your wipers. It’s also good practice to use a gloved hand to remove ice and snow buildup from the wiper blades themselves. It is likely that you will need new wipers unless you have replaced them within the past three months. Don't make the mistake of thinking they can last another season. Replace them now.
2. Leaving summer tires on your pickup
Leaving summer tires on pickup trucks during the winter can be extremely dangerous and it is important to replace them with winter tires before the colder weather arrives. Summer tires have a softer rubber compound that is not suitable for driving in freezing temperatures. When the temperature drops below 7°C, summer tires become hard and less flexible, making it difficult for them to grip the road and maintain traction, even when road conditions are dry. In addition, summer tires do not have the proper tread depth and design to handle snow and ice, which can lead to slipping on the roads. Winter tires, on the other hand, are specifically designed for driving in cold weather and have a more aggressive tread pattern and a harder rubber compound that is able to grip the road and provide better traction on snow and ice.
3. Allowing the fuel level to drop
The world seems to be divided into two groups: those who like pushing themselves to the limit when the fuel gauge turns on and those who fill up when it reaches the halfway point. Driving is simple in the summer, and it’s not likely that you’ll run into any conditions that prevent you from filling up when your tank is empty.
Driving in winter conditions can pose a number of challenges for your pickup truck. It is not only damaging to the vehicle to repeatedly run on low fuel, but it also increases the risk of getting stuck or stranded in the winter. Having a sufficient amount of fuel can be crucial in these situations, as it not only keeps the truck running but also provides warmth in potentially dangerous conditions.
4. Using water to clear your windshield
You would believe that putting warm water on the windshield will quickly and easily de-ice it, but the fact is that doing so may cause the old glass to fracture. This is particularly true if the glass has even the tiniest chip or break. The water will seep inside and eventually freeze and expand, causing the class to break.
Use an ice scraper to clear your windshield. There are also many windshield covers on the market that are designed specifically for winter use which makes it easy to clear your way and get going on cold winter mornings.
5. Not checking your battery
It's time to inspect the battery if the chilly weather has made it difficult for your vehicle to start. More than any other time of the year, frigid weather tends to cause batteries to die. The battery struggles significantly more to start your truck as the temperature drops.
You should test the battery and get the charging system checked to see if the motor is spinning extremely slowly or if the headlights seem dim. The last thing you want over the holidays is to be trapped someplace with a dead battery.