As the holiday season approaches, full of shopping trips and family gatherings, it’s easy to forget about the preparation needed for winterizing your car. Amidst the rest of your holiday planning, it is important that your car is ready for colder weather and icy conditions on the road. Here are a few steps you can take to prepare your car for winter.
With the extra strains of winter, a second opinion is never a bad idea when winterizing your vehicle. We recommend taking your car to a licensed professional who will inform you whether the various systems and parts in your car (radiator, brakes, etc.) are in good condition. They can also ensure the fluids (antifreeze, brake fluid, oil, etc.) are at the correct levels.
We recommend keeping your gas tank half full at all times during the winter to prevent freeze ups. Also, if you’re ever stranded, your engine may be the only thing keeping you warm until help arrives.
It is always recommended that you test your vehicles battery throughout the year, especially during the wintertime. Colder temperatures require more current from the battery in order to get the engine started. To avoid a stressful situation, pack some jumper cables in your trunk and invest in an extra battery to keep in the garage for future use.
With the weather changing it is likely that you will be using your windshield wipers more often than not. To ensure your wiper blades are up to the task of winter driving, we recommend replacing them with new ones before the first freeze. Keep your washer reservoir full with a solution that contains an antifreeze agent, which are designed for lower temperatures. If you see any streaks on your windshield or cracks in the rubber of the blade, it is time to change them out. You can replace your wipers at most auto stores, as they are often inexpensive and easy to install. Now is also a good time to check that all the vehicles lights are working properly, so that you’ll have optimum vision at night and other drivers can see you.
Tire manufactures say the onset of winter weather is a good time to make sure your tires are properly inflated. Air pressure can affect steering, handling, gas mileage, and the life of the tires themselves. For every 10 degree drop in temperature, your tire loses 2-3 pounds of pressure. You can refer to the owner manual to ensure your tires are in acceptable range, and improve efficiency. It is also a good idea to check the tread on your tires before the roads get icy. You can simply place a penny in between the tread, if you can see Lincolns head In full view, it is time for new tires.
Winter Supply Kit
With unpredictable weather conditions, you never know when you may need to change a tire or jump start a battery. Having a box full of winter supplies in your trunk can make all the difference when something goes wrong while traveling on a cold winter day. Here are some suggested items you may want to include: a first-aid kit, a flashlight, blankets, gloves, warm clothes, an ice scraper, jumper cables, road flares, water, non-perishable food, paper towels, extra antifreeze and washer fluid. Amazon carries a plethora of “emergency kits” ranging from entry-level to more inclusive packages that have radios, phone chargers, and more. Keep you and your family safe and comfortable while traveling this winter.
We hope these simple steps help you better prepare for a winter void of any major incidents, and that you have a safe and happy holiday season.
To schedule an inspection, give us a call at (503) 363-6888.