Preparing your car for winter the Uber and Lyft method


(Brandon Bhangoo) #1

The further north you live the frostier it gets in the Winter, and any seasoned seasonal driver will tell you, you have to prepare for the worst. So, we decided to prepare a small article outlining the things that Uber and Lyft drivers do to maintain their income during the rough seasonal weather of winter, whether it's strong winds and hail or piled up snow, these are the solutions that will save your driving days:

Tires

No matter the season you must always check your tire pressure once a month at least. If you are a professional driver, you should check once a week. With cold weather come some internal pressure changes in tires, and they usually deflate by a few PSI, so before the cold comes in, double check your tire pressure and fill them up.

Tires are one of the most important parts of your car, in fact in terms of safe driving they might be the most important since they are the only part of the car that touches the road, and as such their surface must be in perfect condition. Different tires fit different surfaces and weather conditions. For starters, if you drive in weather under 40F you will need to use all-season tires. Make sure your tires have proper grip surfaces and for snow, you should either put on snow chains or change your tires for snow tires. Snow or winter tires are excellent for holding a grip on hard ice surfaces.

Choosing your brand is also an issue. As a rideshare driver you must invest in the best tires, so no skimping, even if it does cost a bit more. Your safety and your passenger's safety are above all. If you want to check out different tires, go to TireRack.com.

The best way to work out which tire suits your car and your area of driving would be to look at the customer reviews and site ratings. The site performs its own tests and publishes the tire performances, so you should have an extensive catalog of tires to choose from. It's best policy to input your tire make, model and size into the search parameters and then you can get the category your tire is in. Open up the category and look at the top-rated ones only. Check out the tire test reports and when you finally decide what to buy, if it's not the number one model with the highest rating, think again about what will support your car and your body over the road surface. Remember, all that's separating you from the hard-cold road surface are the four tires on your car.

Windshield Wiper Fluids

The cold of winter is especially cruel to the unprepared. Those icy cold surfaces that ages to scrape even worth salt or hot water. It is better to use preventative measures than treatment options. So, I always put in the anti-freeze washer fluid additive. There are a few options ranging from antifreeze to bug washer and all seasonal fluids. However, if you live in an area that can go down as far as -20 then you want an antifreeze fluid that handles those cold climates.

Mats

While you will always need a good mat in any season, all seasonal mats are imperative to maintain a clean car. Winter tends to bring a lot of water and mud into your vehicle, and you need a mat that is easy to clean.

Ice Scraper and Snow Brush

When you wake up in the morning, and your car is covered in snow, and the windshield is covered in ice, you will need to prepare a lot of elbow grease, and you will need a good set of tools to clean your car up. They come in a variety of sizes, but its best to put one in your luggage compartment before the start of the winter season. You will also need a brush as well as a scraper and most probably some hot water in the worst instances.



Snow Shovel

If you live in an area where you get over a foot of snow overnight, you will always have a snow shovel ready around the house. However, it's also a good idea to have one in the car too, you never know where you might end up driving too, and if you get caught in a snowstorm, you will need one of these handy tools for emergencies.

Add weight to your car

In some instances, tires and tools will not help with the grip, and if you don't have tire chains on, then you should consider adding weight to the luggage section of your car with cinder blocks or free gym weights. The added weight will make your rear tires grip the road better.