Driving to a hill station this winter? AUTO BILD INDIA brings you five tips that will help keep your trip free from trouble
India is a tropical country and majority of it faces a winter that, at best, can be described as cold. The word bitter seldom figures anywhere. Yet there are parts of the country where regular snowfall and bitter cold are indeed realities that drivers face every winter. Ice on a car’s windows, rubber hoses and seals becoming hard and brittle and freezing fuel lines are all battled in a day’s work. Here we present five tips that might make staying in or a visit to a hill station this winter slightly easier to handle.
1. De-icing the windows
In bitterly cold conditions, it is not uncommon to fi nd the car's windows covered in ice. A few tablespoons of rubbing alcohol into the windshield washer tank will turn the washer fluid into a de-icing agent. If you don't have rubbing alcohol, even alcoholic beverages without sugar will do.
2. Protecting the paint
Pollutants in the air combine with early morning dew and fog to form sulphuric and nitric acids, which eat away the car's paintwork gradually. Frequent washing and a good waxing will help.
3. Hard and brittle hosing
Cold weather makes hoses and other pliable materials stiff and susceptible to cracking. Normally, they should seem rubbery and soft to touch and not hard. Be sure to check your car’s hoses and belts while you’re checking the car's radiator hoses.
4. Frozen and jammed doors
Where snowfall is regular car doors might jam because of ice formation between the rubber seals and the door. The only prevention is to lubricate the gasket with vaseline to prevent ice buildup.
5. Frozen diesel lines
On very cold mornings you might face a frozen fuel line if you have a diesel car. A gas line ntifreeze with isopropyl alcohol is a solution. Another remedy is to carry mercury vapour lamps nd light them under the fuel lines.
Routine checks for the winter months
- Check your wipers for wear and tear and replace if worn due to excessive use in the monsoons.
- Enough air pressure and treads on the tyres ensure good traction.
- Concentration of coolant should be between 50 and 70 per cent.
- Engine oil viscosity should be examined as oil thickens during winter.
- Battery should be in prime condition for troublefree cold starts.
- Heater and AC should be working.
Build your own winter emergency kit
- A set of warm clothes
- Extra water and food
- A small hammer
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Windshield washer fluid
- Spare windshield wipers
- Flares (to attract attention)
- Jump cables
- Tool kit
- Tyre gauge
- Spare tyre and puncture repair kit
- First-aid kit