Winter is Coming: How to Prepare Your Dodge Raider for the Cold
One of the short-lived mini-SUVs produced by Mitsubishi, the Dodge Raider is known for its tough design ideal for both off-road and heavy-duty driving. Despite its power, however, your Raider requires some preparation for certain weather changes, especially if you are planning to continue driving it in the cold winter. Winter months can be very hard on any vehicle as it gets exposed to extreme temperatures as well as to the dirt and corrosive materials brought in by snow. Follow these tips to effectively winterize your Dodge Raider:
- Conduct a comprehensive vehicle check before the temperatures drop.
Make sure your battery and charging system are at their peak performance. Check your cooling system; it should be cleaned, flushed, and filled with new antifreeze (at least every two years). Heaters, defrosters, and wipers should work properly, and upgrade your wipers by installing wiper blades and using cold weather washer fluid (it is harder to see in the snow, so your wipers are really essential.) You can also clean your windscreen and wiper blades using a rag soaked in diluted methylated spirit or vinegar to avoid freezing.
You can opt to purchase and install new winter tires that have stronger grip and resistance, which are ideal for snowy and icy pavements, for your Dodge Raider. Don't forget to check tire pressure every week during winter as well as the tread depth to avoid being stuck in snow. Depth should at least be 3 mm according to experts.
There's nothing worse than running out of gas in the middle of nowhere on a snowy day. Stay fueled up and never let your tank go below half full in the winter. This encourages condensation forming, which can affect your engine performance.
- Check your brakes and brake pads.
You wouldn't want to skid and lose control over the car due to faulty brakes, so make sure a qualified technician checks your brakes completely, replaces damaged parts, and refills necessary amount of brake fluid in the reservoir.
- Lubricate locks and mechanisms by spraying WD-40.
Winter often freezes car locks and mechanisms, so once a week, make sure you spray door, fuel tank, and ignition locks with WD-40.
- Check the exhaust system for carbon monoxide leaks.
A broken exhaust system is always bad news, especially during winter when windows and doors are completely closed. Make sure that there are no leaks from the system to prevent dangerous health risks such as inhaling carbon monoxide.
- Invest on tools and equipment in case of emergencies; load them onto your Dodge Raider.
Get a collapsible shovel that comes in handy in case you get stuck on a pile of snow. Store a tow rope so other vehicles can easily pull you out if you get stuck. Make sure you have a car charger for your phone so you can easily call for help in case of emergencies. Carry a petroleum jelly or a special spray to be used on doors to prevent them from sticking in the cold.