As much as we prefer to take our off-roaders out during the hot, summer months, sometimes we can’t always find the time. But instead of spending the colder months indoors, it’s still very possible to prepare an off-road winter adventure with almost any vehicle.
For those wanting to head off into the wilderness despite the cold, these are the best ways to prepare a vehicle.
Have The Car Serviced
Winter can cause a number of problems in a car, especially in a country that sees extremely low temperatures. Proper servicing and maintenance can keep a car in good shape while in the bush, and ensures that there won’t be any breakdowns while too far from civilisation. A lot of garages offer discounter winter car checks, making it even more appealing to have that long overdue service done.
Antifreeze is used in most engine coolant mixes thanks to its rust fighting and anti freezing properties, and there should be a 50/50 mix of distilled water and antifreeze present in the cooling system at all times. A common mistake made by car owners is to top up water over the year without adding the correct amount of antifreeze, which can cause the engine to overheat, even in colder weather.
Tyres can often make or break any adventure in the outdoors, and it’s imperative that the tyres are in excellent condition at all times. This means having at least 3mm of depth during the winter, which is a bit more than the normal minimum of 1.6mm. This gives the car extra grip on icy roads, and can prevent the car from slipping. Another idea, albeit one that does cost more, is to swap out the regular tyres for winter tyres, which come with extra traction and depth, allowing for even greater grip. Adding winter chains to tyres is a lower cost option that can provide the same amount of grip, but can be a hassle to add and remove.
A Breakdown Kit
Sometimes it’s inevitable that a car will breakdown in the cold, and it pays to have a breakdown kit available to ensure that the situation doesn’t become too dire. Some items that are worth having in the kit include: torch, blanket, food and rink, scrapers, de-icer, and some extra warm clothing, along with a battery pack to keep things charged, which is good for contacting emergency services and keeping entertained with a game of online bingo NZ. It’s best to check the weather for the area before heading out, but the winter months can be unpredictable and it’s always worth being prepared for any eventuality.
Windscreen And Wipers
The windscreen of the vehicle should be thoroughly cleaned both inside and out, and antifreeze should be added to the washer fluid in case the glass begins to freeze over. Windscreen wipers should be checked for any nicks or tears, along with any chips in the windscreen as these can quickly grow bigger in winter weather and lead to further problems.