It’s a cold, hard fact. Your car can be affected by the winter weather much faster than you. The harsh temperatures, snow, and ice are all signs that Mother Nature’s telling you it’s worth the investment to get your vehicle checked. Because, after all, there is nothing worse than breaking down in the middle of a winter wonderland with unexpected emergency repairs.
As Mother Nature has already proved herself for much of the southwest, it’s always smart to be prepared for winter weather conditions regardless of where you live. Here are 3 ways to winterize your vehicle for the upcoming cold season:
1. Get your batteries tested.
Your battery is more prone to die when the temperatures drop. Have it tested at the beginning of the winter or before a predicted cold spell to prevent this from happening Monday morning when you’re running late to work. Storing your vehicle in a garage is one way to protect your batteries from frigid temps. But, if that isn’t an option, we highly suggest testing your batteries and charging system for optimal performance.
2. Check your tire pressure often.
Cold air and tire pressure don’t mix. It’s extremely important to get your tire depth and pressure checked during this time of year. Accuweather.com states that most tires lose 1 pound per square inch (psi) for every 10 F of temperature drop. If you didn’t think checking your tire inflation was critical before, think about how much pressure you’ll lose when it’s 85 degrees one day and 35 the next. If you live in an area where snow and ice are normal occurrences, special tires designed to grip slick roads should be highly considered. A good rule of thumb here is to check your tire pressure weekly during the winter season.
3. Flush and refill the cooling system.
The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically when the temperature drops. A 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water is the recommendation here. Cartalk stresses the importance of having a good coolant in your engine:
“It’s important to have a good coolant in your engine because if the coolant freezes, it expands, and it’s bye-bye engine block. But that’s still only half the story. The other primary function of antifreeze is to keep your cooling system from rusting. The rust inhibitors in antifreeze break down over time and need to be renewed.”
Don’t let Mother Nature sneak up on you and your car. Follow these tips for a safe and healthy winter driving season. You’ll thank us later!