With the recent car accidents being reported because of the cold snap that most of the country is experiencing, it’s a good time to check your vehicle. Car maintenance in cold weather is very important to keep your vehicle in tip-top shape. Cold weather can be rough on your vehicle’s battery and engine. The windshield also needs to be taken care of. And finally, tire safety is of the utmost importance for winter driving. Keeping your car in the best condition possible will help you avoid collisions in cold weather.
The Importance of Car Maintenance in Cold Weather: Keep Your Vehicle Safe
Car maintenance in cold weather is important to keep your auto running smoothly. Your car battery has less cranking power as the temperature drops. You can have your battery professionally checked at a service shop like Autozone. If your battery is older, past five years, for example, it’s best just to go ahead and replace it. It’s safer to replace your battery before it dies rather than being stuck somewhere needing a jump start.
Another key aspect of car maintenance in cold weather is taking care of your engine. Motor oil gets thicker in cold temperatures, which makes it harder for your engine to turn over. You can buy specialty winter oil for colder months. Check your radiator and heat hoses to make sure that they are pliable but firm. If they are brittle or overly soft, replace them to prevent leaks of oil or grease. Finally, keep your coolant mixture at 50/50 antifreeze to water ration. This will keep it from freezing unless the weather is well below zero.
Keeping your windshield in good order is another step in car maintenance in cold weather. You should replace your wiper blades twice a year. Also, replace them if you see patches on your windshield that the blades miss. If it’s going to snow overnight, leave your blades in an upright position so they don’t freeze to your window. If your windshield has snow and ice all over it, don’t use your blades to clear it. Instead, use a de-icer scraping tool.
The single most important aspect of car maintenance in cold weather is taking care of your tires. Check your tire pressure each day to make sure that they have the right amount of air. Tire pressure gets lower in cold air, so make sure your tires aren’t too low. If you’re debating a new set of tires, winter is the time to do it. You’ll be much safer on the road with a decent set of all-season tires. If the roads are covered in ice and snow you can consider dedicated winter tires. Or always travel with snow chains and know how to use them.
Traveling in winter weather can be hazardous, but car maintenance in cold weather can help you be safer on the road. Take care of all aspects of your car, like checking your battery condition. Keep your engine safe by checking your oil and keeping coolant at an appropriate proportion. Also, make sure you’re keeping your windshield and wipers in good shape. And finally, make sure you have a decent set of tires on your car at all times. Along with these tips for car maintenance, brush up on winter weather driving skills to keep you as safe as possible on the road.