Nordic Necessities: Essential Car Maintenance for Scandinavian Winters

0
624
Nordic Necessities: Essential Car Maintenance for Scandinavian Winters

The landscapes of Scandinavia are pretty breathtaking, especially in the winter when you can see the snow-covered mountains in Norway and take in other amazing sights. However, while snow and cold can be nice to break up the seasons, if you’re driving in it, you’ll need to be prepared. Nordic Necessities: Essential Car Maintenance for Scandinavian Winters.

From winterizing your tires to charging your electric car before a long journey, there’s a lot you can do to prepare, and spending some time maintaining your vehicle before you leave can save you a lot of hassle and help you enjoy the glory of Scandinavian winters without worry.

Nordic Necessities: Essential Car Maintenance for Scandinavian Winters
One of the most significant issues during winter is the potential for icy roads. Photo: Trasvelers Insurance

Have Fun, But Be Smart This Winter

If this is your first trip to the Scandinavian Peninsula, you’re in for a treat, especially during the winter. Wear warm and comfortable clothes, and you can have fun ice skating, sledding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and more. It’s truly a winter wonderland. However, you must be careful, especially if driving during your visit.

The countries of Scandinavia can get quite cold during the winter season. Areas like Northern Norway can get down to -40 degrees Celsius near the inner part of the country. That’s not typically every winter, but it can happen. On average, the winter temperatures in Scandinavia are closer to 20-25 degrees Celsius. Snowfall is also common, especially in Sweden and Norway. The point is that there will be some cold temps and precipitation, and one of the best ways to prepare your vehicle is to know the common issues that could occur.

One of them is potential issues with your exhaust system. When you drive down the road, the exhaust system under your vehicle can sustain damage if you go over potholes and ice chunks. Additionally, the salt that often gathers under cars during the winter can corrode the pipes and lead to exhaust leaks. To mitigate the problem, wash your vehicle regularly, and don’t forget the undercarriage. Bring the car in for an inspection if you hear any rattling or vibrating metal.

One of the most significant issues during winter is the potential for icy roads. If you lose control of your vehicle, you could veer off the road and potentially hurt yourself and the other passengers. The main defense against ice and winter hazards is good tires. Your tires must have strong treads because they grip the road and the snow so you can remain in control. Driving a car without good tires is like driving with a faulty engine because you won’t get anywhere without them, especially during a Scandinavian winter.

Nordic Necessities: Essential Car Maintenance for Scandinavian Winters – the article continues below the image.

Nordic Necessities: Essential Car Maintenance for Scandinavian Winters
When you drive around with a half or near-empty gas tank during the winter, condensation can form on the walls of the tank and then drip into the existing gasoline. Photo: Driving tests.org

Do What You Must To Keep Your Vehicle Moving

While there’s plenty of beauty and gorgeous landscapes across the various Scandinavian countries, there will also be long stretches of road where you’ll be driving without mechanics, service stations, and places that can help if your car breaks down. If you’re not properly dressed, being stuck in the cold could mean frostbite, hypothermia, and more, so you need to ensure that your vehicle gets to the destination without incident.

Another common issue is what can happen if you don’t keep enough gas in your tank during cold weather. The problem here is that when you drive around with a half or near-empty gas tank during the winter, condensation can form on the walls of the tank and then drip into the existing gasoline. Once the water drips to the bottom, it can get into the fuel lines and freeze them, and it can be a costly repair. Fill your tank when you can to avoid this possibility.

Just like you need enough gas in your tank to get where you’re going without issue, if you have an electric car, you must also ensure you have a full charge. While many countries are adding charging stations along their roadways, you can avoid the possibility of not getting a boost when you need it by charging your car at home.

A home charging station is worth the investment, and you can choose from a level one EV charger and a level two EV charger. Of course, level two will charge faster, but either is essential in the garage of an EV owner. A level one charger can take up to 24 hours for a full charge, while a level two charger can have you ready to go in four to five hours. No matter what, be sure you have a full charge before you hit the road during the winter.

Nordic Necessities: Essential Car Maintenance for Scandinavian Winters
Scandinavian winters are just too gorgeous to ignore. Photo: Rhino Car Hire

Other Maintenance To Consider

The most essential step to take before driving long distances is to check your fluids, including your engine coolant and windshield wiper fluid. You’ll also want to check your oil if it’s been over 5,000 miles. All of these fluids ensure seamless and safe travel, so don’t leave things to chance.

Changing your oil during the winter won’t always be a picnic because it’s cold outside, and the oil should be warm so it thins out and drains faster. As a trick, run the vehicle for five minutes before you begin so the engine is warm. It’s also smart to keep the wrench you use in a warm place before changing the oil, or it can be so cold that it can be hard to do the job at hand.

If it recently snowed, clear the frost and ice from all windows and mirrors before you start your long drive so your vision is not obstructed. You should also brush off the top of the car so it doesn’t blow into your line of sight while you’re on the road.

Scandinavian winters are just too gorgeous to ignore, so consider these car maintenance tricks and enjoy the season while staying safe and secure.

Nordic Necessities
Ainsley Lawrence

Nordic Necessities: Essential Car Maintenance for Scandinavian Winters, written dedicatedly for Daily Scandinavian by Ainsley Lawrence. Ainsley is a regular contributor to Daily Scandinavian. She is a freelance writer from the Pacific Northwest. Ainsley is interested in better living. through technology and education. She is frequently lost in a good book.

Feature image (on top): © Matt Collamer/Unsplash

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.