Winter is coming, which means soon, temperatures will drop and sleet and ice will coat our roads and highways.
For those who are unprepared, these conditions can lead to traffic delays, vehicle breakdowns and accidents.
However, being aware of what happens to your vehicle in winter weather and knowing how to winter-proof your car will help to keep you safe and on-time in the coming months.
In addition to keeping your engine from overheating in the summertime, your vehicle’s coolant system has the ability to protect your engine from corrosion in the winter.
Each vehicle requires a specific coolant to water ratio during colder months, and adjusting this ratio is winterizing your car.
Not sure what measurements or coolant type your car or truck needs? Check out your vehicle owner’s manual or visit with one of our repair specialists who can tell you how to keep your engine in check.
Also, make sure to invest in a coolant that contains ethylene glycol to achieve the most protection.
Internal engine temperatures are influenced by external temperatures, which means it may be necessary to change your engine’s oil type as outside conditions change.
If you live in or will be traveling to a place that falls below freezing during winter, you may need to change your engine’s oil to something thinner and less viscous.
Driving over sleet and ice can be very challenging and dangerous. Oftentimes, staying at home is not an option, so making sure your vehicle has the proper tires is critical.
Many car and tire experts recommend changing all of your tires to snow tires in the winter. In this case, it is important to change all four instead of one, two or three as this prevents problems for your vehicle such as being misaligned and off-balance.
All-season tires are a great option for drivers who would rather not change tires every time the season changes or keep two sets of rims. The disadvantage to these tires is that they do not have all of the features included with a seasonal version.
It is important to keep your windshield wiper fluid filled even in winter, because of the dirty, wet snow cars and trucks on the road in front of you will kick up.
The best wiper fluid to invest in when it’s cold is a fluid that contains antifreeze.
Cold Weather and Batteries
Did you know your vehicle battery’s capacity is reduced by frigid temperatures?
To make sure your car battery is winterized, it is important to get a thorough inspection of it, your cables, fluid and terminals.
Oftentimes, vehicle door locks will freeze in cold weather. This can lead to a broken key for anyone who tries to force their car door open.
It is possible to use warm water to melt the frozen lock, but if you are out and don’t have warm water, there is another option.
Many auto parts, hardware and discount stores sell glycerine that can be used for de-icing your lock.
It is a good idea to keep a tube in your garage and at work to avoid being frozen out.
Keeping a winter kit in your car or trunk is a great idea and can save you in or help prevent winter emergencies.
Some things to consider keeping on hand in your vehicle are:
- Washer Fluid
- Engine Oil
As cold weather approaches, we would love to check out and winterize your vehicle, so you can keep going when conditions try to slow you down.