As we begin to transition into the winter months, we take action to prepare for the wintry weather. We winterize. We switch out our summer wardrobes for more appropriate attire: sweaters, coats, jeans, hats, and gloves. And we take the necessary precautions to assure our homes will stay warm.
But what about your car? Just like your wardrobe or your home, your car needs to be ready to take on the cold. With these easy tips you can make sure your car is ready for low temperatures.
1. Maintain tire pressure
It is very important to regularly check up on your tire pressure no matter the season. However, to winterize your vehicle effectively, you should be checking it more frequently. Every 10 degree temperature change could result in a gain in loss of tire pressure.
2. Clean and treat your doors
Doors can get stuck in the cold and can be difficult to open. An easy way to prevent that from happening is to apply a light layer of lubricant or oil to your doors. You can also do this to winterize your hood and trunk!
3. Keep your gas tank at least half full
Here’s an excellent winterize practice! Keeping your gas tank half full can reduce the chances of your gas freezing. Not only this, but if you’re ever stranded for any reason, the engine will help keep you warm while you wait for help to arrive.
4. Have your car serviced
Want to be make sure you’ve done all you can to winterize your vehicle? Getting your car serviced is an excellent way to gain peace of mind that your car is running well enough to brave the cold. Make sure to get your battery, brakes, cooling system, and belt, hoses, spark plugs, wires, and cables all checked!
5. Install winter wipers
Winter wipers have a special rubber that prevents ice from becoming stuck in the blade. If you install winter wipers, make sure you remove them by the time spring rolls around! The winter blades can be hard on the wiper motor.
6. Pack a winter safety kit
The winter could lead to unforeseen complications, and it is very important that you are prepared for an emergency on the road, especially in the cold. If you are heading on a trip make sure that you pack a kit, just in case. Some things to keep in your winter safety kit are: a first aid kid, jumper cables, a flashlight, batteries, a cell phone, tools, a pack of matches, batteries, ice scraper, coats, and a blanket.
7. Check oil
Cold weather can reduce the effectiveness of oil. In cold weather, oil gets thicker which makes it harder for the oil to circulate through your engine. This could leave you stuck with a car that will not start. To prevent this, change your oil to thinner oil once it starts getting cold outside. Your car’s manual will usually have information on the viscosity of the oil.
8. Protect the paint
Not only can snow and ice affect your car’s paint job, salts used to melt ice can wreak havoc on it, as well. Just like how we wear more layers during the winter, it is important that you put more layers on your car. Waxing your car is a great way to add an extra layer to protect your exterior paint.
9. Check your air filter
No one likes being cold, and short, everyday trips to work or the store can seem like long, uncomfortable hauls if your heat is not working properly. Your air filter cleans the air from the outside before it enters the car. If the filter is dirty, it could take longer for your car to be able to properly heat up the air.
10. Switch to winter tires
When temperatures drop, the rubber in tires will harden which will affect your tires ability to grip the road. If you have the ability to, switch to winter tires in times of snow and sleet. These tires are specifically made for wintry terrain and use a special rubber that will prevent hardening so you do not have to worry about temperature affecting your safety!
Winter weather can be unpredictable. It is imperative to take necessary precautions to stay safe and warm on the road! And, of course, another way to winterize your vehicle is to keep it clean! Want to become an Unlimited Member for only $20? Head to our website and sign up today!