Winter is an exciting time for snow sports, snowball fights, and Christmas baking. But you also have to drive your car during the winter months. If your vehicle is not properly prepared for winter weather, it can lead to costly repairs or even serious accidents. Fortunately, some simple steps can help protect your car from freezing temperatures and road debris.
Is Winterizing Your Car Necessary?
Whether you’re driving a car or truck, winterizing your vehicle will help you stay safe and avoid accidents. It also saves money on gas and other maintenance costs.
Winterizing your car is essential because it keeps the engine running smoothly and prevents breakdowns. There are many reasons why winterizing your car is essential:
•You don’t want to have an expensive repair bill if you get stuck in the snow
• You don’t want to run into accidents or break down on the side of the road while waiting for help.
Here’s how to stay safe this winter:
Change to Winter Tires
Winter tires have better grip over those slippery roads. When it comes to buying new tires, there are two options: radial-ply or bias-ply tires. Radial ply tires are thicker in the center and thinner on each side; bias ply tires are mostly radial, with some bias section added near their ends for better traction in icy conditions. It may make for a noisier drive and generally have shorter tread life, but the extra safety is well worth the compromise!
Antifreeze is a crucial component of your car. It keeps it from freezing, overheating, and rusting. If you don’t have antifreeze in your car, you could damage its engine if it gets too cold outside for long enough. Make sure all fluids are topped off before heading out for the season. If a cooling system leak is detected, stop immediately until it can be repaired properly; otherwise, damage could occur inside your engine when temperatures drop below freezing point (32 degrees Fahrenheit). Make sure you don’t overfill because too much coolant can damage internal components over time!
Keep the Gas Tank at Least Half Full
Watch your gauge and try to keep your gas tank at least half full. Granted, it has to get very cold for most types of gasoline to freeze solid, at least -40 degrees for some octanes. That may be a little colder than what we’re normally used to in this region of the country, but keeping the tank at least half full is still a smart idea.
Make Sure You Have the Right Engine Oil
The lower the temperatures drop, the thicker the oil in your engine gets.
10W30 oil freezes at -20 F, so a change to a thicker oil like 15W30 which freezes at-55 F might be the way to go for the winter months. Be sure to check with your car’s owner’s manual for the manufacture recommends specific grades of oil for specific temperature ranges.
Also, get into the habit of warming up your car’s engine for a few minutes before driving. This warms up the engine’s oil and helps everything inside run smooth, and as an added bonus, your car is warm and toasty for you by the time you’re ready to drive away!
Install Winter Wipers and Check Washer Fluid
Winter wipers are made of more durable rubber and are wider with a greater sweep than summer wiper blades. They also have more flexibility, so they can bend back and forth without breaking which is vital in harsh winter weather conditions where ice and snow build up on your windshield.
Also, check your windshield washer fluid level to make sure it contains enough of that blue liquid to give your windshield a thorough cleaning during icy weather.
Keep Your Batteries in Good Shape
At about zero degrees, your car’s battery has only about half the cranking power it normally would at around 80 degrees. On top of that, your battery has to work a little harder to get a cold engine to turn over and start running. If you have a conventional battery, you may have to add distilled water to keep it operating at its best. (See owner’s manual for instructions). For maintenance-free batteries, check the window on the top for indication of full charge. If it’s not, or if you’re unsure, it’s always best to ask a professional. Many places offer free battery tests, so it’s even easier to make sure your car is charged and ready to go every winter morning!
Conclusion It’s important to know that your car is safe and ready for the winter season, but it takes a little time and effort. With these basic tips, you can ensure that