Winterizing your car before the cold weather sets in should be a priority right now. Your car will be pushed to the limit with cold temperatures, snow, ice, road salt and freezing rain. It pays to prepare your car so you are not left out in the cold.
1/ Radiator Coolant Flush
Coolant in your radiator is known of course for keeping your engine cool in the summertime. However it also plays a vital role in protecting your engine block during freezing temperatures. Frozen coolant can expand inside the engine block and destroy it. That is why coolant is often described as “Anti-Freeze”. A coolant flush can easily be added to the “to do” list when you get your next oil change.
2/ Have Your Battery Checked
battery picGetting stranded in the cold weather with a dead battery is no fun, and can easily be avoided. The typical life span of a battery is between 3-5 years. Your battery will need extra muscle to start the engine through the cold mornings and will be tested to its limits. If your battery is over three years old you will want to have it checked for the winter months. A good indication that the battery is getting weak is when it starts to sound sluggish during cold start up. But why wait for your battery to be in the death throes? Any garage can perform a simple test for battery strength.
3/ Wax Your Car
A good coat of wax goes a long way in helping to protect your cars finish over the winter. Even if you have a garage, the paint on your car will still be subjected to a variety of harsh conditions when you drive. The best time to have it done is in the fall before the cold sets in.
4/ Make sure you have Correct Tires
Do not underestimate the importance of good traction in areas of snow and ice. Tires are rated for Summer, Winter and All-Season. Make sure that the tires that you have on your car are appropriate for the weather conditions that you will encounter. Check to make sure your tires – including the spare – are properly inflated. If you live in a harsh snow environment or mountainous area you will want to have a set of chains in your trunk.
5/ Carry the Winter Essentials
A good ice scraper could be your best friend on a cold frosty morning. Also be sure to carry a flashlight with fresh batteries, a warm blanket and a pair of gloves. These items are priceless when you need them most. Battery jumper cables will come in handy to help someone who’s stranded because they did not read this article. Below is a diagram on how to properly jump-start a car.
6/ Fill the Windshield Washer Fluid Reservoir and Check Wipers
Your windshield wipers will be seeing double duty during the winter. Top off the fluid and make sure you have a set of good blades on your car. Most car parts stores will be happy to assist you in doing that for you, usually at no charge.
7/ Keep Your Gas Tank Full
A gas tank that is nearly empty could result in condensation forming on the inside walls of the gas tank. Fluctuating winter temperatures can result in water getting inside the tank. It’s never a good idea to run your tank to near-empty any time of the year because you run the risk of getting stranded. However the damage with a near-empty tank during winter could result in starting and running problems.