Driving in winter isn’t an easy job. So, features to make your car winter-ready need to be chosen carefully. While a winter car doesn’t need to have all extra equipment, it does need to be one that has some specific winter-driving features which will not only make driving easier and safer but also prevent you from being stranded in the snow. So, which are the safety features that a car should have and which are the ones that you can do without? Here are some important features to look for when buying a car for driving around in the winter.
1. Winter tires
Winter tires are perhaps the most important features that a car should be equipped with. Winter tires feature a special type of treads specifically designed to withstand the salt, ice, and snow. If you’re buying a used car with winter tires, be sure to thoroughly check them for wear and tear.
2. Windshield wiper defrosters
The biggest deterrent to safety while driving in winter is when the ice freezes beneath the windshield wipers. Defrosters are heated elements that are placed under the wiper blades which help in melting away caked-on snow and ice.
3. Heated steering wheels
While woolen mittens may be great for keeping your hands all warm toasty, they aren’t so great when it comes to you having to grip the steering wheel. Heated steering wheels in cars will not only keep your hands warm while driving but also help with the grip and eliminate the need for mittens and gloves while driving.
4. Anti Lock braking system
An antilock braking system is perhaps the most important winter safety features in a car. The anti lock brakes are helpful in avoiding skidding by preventing the wheels from locking up. In fact, all cars which have been manufactured after 2012 have this feature.
5. Engine block heater
The severely cold weather can have a negative effect on the battery life of a car. An engine block heater helps keep the engine warm and improves the chances of the car not stalling or starting on those sub-zero mornings.
6. Heated side mirrors
The side-view mirrors are free from snow, ice, and fog with the help of heated side mirrors, keeping your surroundings and view clear while driving on those cold winter days. The heated side mirror feature can be automatically activated when the temperature drops below a certain level.
7. Headlight washers
Headlight washers are helpful in clearing off road salt, ice, slush, and snow, helping drivers maintain maximum visibility in bad weather conditions. Some headlight washers also feature the heated headlight wipers mentioned earlier.
8. Traction control system
One useful safety feature in cars today is traction control, which prevents the wheels from spinning, allowing drivers to accelerate without slipping on snow and ice. Having traction control is also helpful in reducing the insurance premium, so this safety feature is definitely worth the few hundred bucks extra.