Northwest winters are harsh on vehicles of any type…and that’s an understatement. From subzero temperatures and slippery road conditions to endless snowfall and frustrating ice build-up, your vehicle goes through a gauntlet of winter challenges every year. You’re already building an arsenal of winter tools to battle the impending snow and ice, so you might as well add these ingenious hacks to your to-do list to keep your car protected too.
1. Perform basic maintenance.
Sometimes, there’s brilliance in the most foundational things. To put your rig in the best possible position to thrive during the harsh wintery months, run an inspection beforehand to ensure everything is in prime condition. Check your tire depth so you have optimum traction on slippery roads, test the health of your car battery, alternator, starter, and charging system with a digital battery tester, and clean up battery terminals for stronger startups in freezing temperatures.
2. Keep door locks well-lubricated.
Most people bank on keyless entry to get in and out of their cars, but key fobs can malfunction in cold weather. As a craftsman, you respect the convenience of technology but remain prepared for those inevitable moments when technology fails. Lubricating your vehicle’s lock cylinders with graphite lock lubricant or Dry Teflon can prevent corrosion so you can always unlock doors and the trunk manually.
3. Pack a portable air compressor.
Tires have a tougher time maintaining air pressure in the winter, making a low or flat tire that much more of an inconvenience. Use the problem-solving skills you’ve developed on the job site by tossing a portable air compressor in the back of your vehicle. Whenever your tire needs a quick top-up or an entire refill, you’ll have the air you need to get from Point A to Point B smoothly. Don’t forget to check tire pressure routinely to prevent surprise pressure issues.
4. Park facing east to melt snow and ice.
As you develop green construction skills, you’ll start looking for innovative ways to use renewable energy to overcome everyday obstacles. In the wintertime, one of the most ingenious hacks is to park facing east so the sunrise becomes a 100% renewable and completely free snow and ice remover. If you’re parking somewhere later in the day, face west to catch the sunset. You’ll still need to put in some work to remove all the wintery build-up, but you’ll have a nice head start that could save you 10-15 minutes every time you unthaw your car.
5. Cover side-view mirrors with Ziploc bags.
It’s defeating to see a thick coat of ice clinging to your side-view mirrors after spending a solid 15 minutes and a few hundred calories of energy scraping away buildup on your windshield. Avoid the hassle altogether by sticking Ziploc or grocery store bags around your mirrors to prevent ice from accumulating. Place a rubber band or hair tie around the arm of the side-view mirror to keep moisture out. When you’re ready to head out, simply remove the covers to reveal pristine windows. Trust us – it’s a great feeling!
6. Invest in winter gear for your car.
Just like you swap out your standard equipment for the toughest winter gear, you can outfit your vehicle with weather-appropriate apparatus. For example, winter tires offer more traction in snowy, icy, and wet conditions than their seasonal counterparts. In fact, you’ll stop nearly 50% quicker on ice with winter wheels. There are even specialized windshield wipers designed to perform better during the colder months. They’re covered in a rubberized shield to prevent snow and ice from accumulating.
Winter is known for being a tough time to land competitive construction gigs. If you’ve been struggling to find solid options, the experts at Madden Craftsmen have your back. For decades, we’ve been helping talented craftsmen just like you find the best employment opportunities in the northwest. Visits IamMadden.com for the latest job openings. If you’re not qualified yet, check out our apprenticeship program. You’ll get all the skills you need to succeed in the construction industry. Let’s build something together!