As a major automaker, Ford is renowned for the trucks it designs and produces. The Ford F-series truck maintained its position as the number-one top-selling vehicle in the United States for the 2020 model year, and other Ford trucks such as the Ford Ranger are widely admired for their high performance and capability on the road as well as for their everyday drivability, modern tech and advanced safety and driver-assist features, and more. In Morris, it’s important to know if your Ford truck is ready for snow.
Ford trucks are some of the highest-performing trucks on the mainstream auto market. They are well-equipped to handle virtually any terrain, especially when equipped with add-on packages like the FX4 Off-Road Package or the all-new Tremor Off-Road Package for the 2021 Ford Ranger.
Even so, if you drive a Ford truck, it is essential to ensure that your truck is ready for snow if you live in an area where snowfall is an inevitability during the winter season. Before the winter snow season hits you head-on, make sure you’re prepared. Keep reading for 5 things you should do to make sure your Ford truck is ready for driving in the snow.
Replace Your Lightbulbs
When you’re driving in the snow, maintaining visibility is key. Your truck’s headlights and taillights are essential for maintaining that visibility when it is snowing outside—and especially when it’s snowing and dark outside.
To help prepare your truck for driving in snowy conditions, replace the bulbs in your vehicle’s headlights and taillights to ensure they are fresh, bright, and not in danger of dimming or turning off on you while you’re driving. It is also a good idea to clean the lenses of your truck’s lights to maximize your visibility while you’re driving in the snow.
Inspect Your Tires
Tire traction is essential to keeping yourself and your passengers safe on the road when it’s snowing. That’s why it is very, very important to thoroughly inspect your tires and their tread to ensure that your truck will have enough traction to safely maneuver snowy and icy roads without slipping.
Fortunately, tire tread depth is easy to check. 3/32 of an inch is the minimum acceptable tire tread depth for driving in normal weather conditions—which means your tire tread depth should be at least 4/32 or 5/32 of an inch when driving in snowy conditions.
The easiest way to measure the tread depth of your truck’s tires is to turn a penny upside down and insert it into the groove between the treads of your tires. Ideally, the penny will disappear completely. If it is still visible at all, you should not be able to see the top of Abraham Lincoln’s head. If you do see the top of his head sticking out from between the treads of your truck’s tires, it’s time to change your tires before the snowy season hits.
Wax Your Truck
Waxing your truck is something many drivers might not think to do as preparation for the snowy winter season ahead. However, it is important that the outside of your Ford truck is coated thoroughly with a quality wax in order to protect its exterior.
The exterior of your truck is exposed to snow as well as salt on the roads during the snowy time of the year. Both snow and road salt can be very harsh on your truck’s exterior and can strip its paint. A thorough coat of wax can help your truck’s current paint job last through the snowy winter without getting stripped or otherwise damaged.
Change Your Oil
An important part of winter vehicle maintenance is changing your truck’s oil. If you currently have conventional oil in your truck, consider switching the type of oil you put in your truck to synthetic oil or synthetic-blend oil—depending on which type is most appropriate for your vehicle.
Synthetic oil flows more freely at colder temperatures than conventional oil does, and it does not take time to warm up like conventional oil does. This means that having your engine protected by synthetic or synthetic-blend oil during the winter can help your truck run more smoothly during the winter and help you avoid damaging your truck’s engine while it’s snowing outside.
Test Your Antifreeze
While you’re getting your truck’s oil changed, ask the technician who is changing your vehicle’s oil to also test your truck’s antifreeze. Your truck engine’s cooling system is made up of both water and antifreeze, and its antifreeze levels need to be high enough
to prevent the water in the cooling system from freezing, expanding, and potentially causing severe damage to your engine that can be both inconvenient and very expensive to fix.
If you prefer to do at-home vehicle maintenance whenever possible, you can use an antifreeze tester to make sure that the antifreeze in your engine’s cooling system is strong enough to last through the cold winter season without allowing the water in your engine’s cooling system to freeze.
An antifreeze tester will tell you the lowest temperature at which the current level of antifreeze in your engine’s cooling system can protect the water in that cooling system from freezing. If that temperature is higher than the freezing temperatures that are expected this winter in your area, it’s important to increase the amount of antifreeze in your engine’s cooling system to protect your engine while you’re driving in the snow this winter.