The harsh winter weather can be extremely hard on our cars and trucks. Follow our expert’s tips to keep you and your vehicle safely on the road come snow, sleet and freezing temperatures.
Winter Car Tips For Your Car
Check Fluids And Top Them Off
This is probably the simplest and most overlooked steps and one you should do every time you have your vehicle serviced.
Coolant: Having the right ratio of antifreeze-to-water in your radiator is extremely important during the cold weather months to prevent the risk of fluid freezing when the temperature drops. Reference the owner’s manual to confirm the right mixture and use a simple tester available at your local auto parts store. Check the levels and add more fluid if necessary.
Oil: Depending on where you live, you may need to change to a thinner oil during the winter.
Wiper Fluid: This is often overlooked by drivers until it’s too late. You don’t want to realize your wiper fluid is low when you’re stuck behind a DOT truck dropping salt after a recent storm.
Once you’ve taken care of the fluid levels, check your wiper blades. If they are worn, replace them. Dull blades can sometimes be worse than no wipers when dealing with the dirt, salt and slush of winter roads. Consider adding an anti-fogger to the inside of your windshield.
All weather tires are OK but only if the tread on them is good. If your tires are worn, replace them. And if you live in an area that normally sees a lot of snowfall, you should look into snow tires. Check your tire pressure a well. Cold weather will lower the pressure in your car tires so make sure they’re properly inflated.
Your car battery’s capacity will be reduced in the winter affecting its ability to hold a charge. Make sure it’s ready to handle the cold and check your terminals and connections while you’re under the hood. A hydrometer will check the charge held by your battery.
You should have one in your vehicle at all times, but in the winter you will need to include some additional items if you haven’t already so check yours:
Spare Tire & Tools: Spare tire, lug wrench, jack and road flares and hazard signs.
Personal Safety: Flashlight (and fresh batteries), blankets, gloves and a hat.
Winter Items: Kitty litter and/or sand will help if your vehicle gets stuck. You should also have an ice scraper and brush, small shovel, coolant and extra wiper fluid.
Essentials: Nnon-perishable food and water should always be in your vehicle in case of emergency.
Keep your tank full.
Cold temperatures can cause condensation. This condensation can collect in your gas tank and fall into your gas and may make its way into your fuel lines where it may freeze and block the flow of fuel to the engine.