With the colder temps upon us and snow on the not so far horizon, it is time to start thinking about winter. Even though it is easy enough for us to put on some warmer clothes, your car may need a little extra help getting ready for the harsh transition into winter.
With the colder temperatures, fluids inside your motor may need to be looked at to prevent them from freezing or sludging up. Chances are you car has antifreeze already in the vehicle, but after a while it can break down and not work properly. Checking the antifreeze is a rather simple task with the right tools, so it’s a must do if your car is over 3 years old. The next is to check the oil in the car. If you have ever gotten your repair bill back and there are some weird numbers like 10W-30 next to the oil change, that is indicating what weight oil they used in your motor. During the summer months, it is common to use a heavier oil and a lighter weight oil in the winter months as it will already flow easier inside the engine.
Wipers and Fluid
With snow and slush coming, you will be using your wipers more in the winter, so it is a good time to change them out. Wipers are one of those items that you get what you pay for in terms of quality. I have found that buying a cheap set of wipers may work right away, but they do not last as long, while an expensive set can last you years. If one needs to be replaced, I swap both wipers out and keep the good one as a spare in the back of my vehicle, just in case one gets damaged in a storm. Keeping an eye on the washer fluid level is also a must do in the winter months.
After time, your car battery will start to age and eventually stop working, and cold weather only makes things worse. Now, from experience, there are warning signs to look for to prevent walking out from the airport in 10 degree weather to a dead car battery. The easiest way to check is to bring it into an auto parts store and have them run a test. This test will often show how the life of the battery is along with the health of the alternator (which is what charges the battery). If your battery needs to be replaced, don’t risk getting caught in the cold due to a dead battery.
Driving in the snow is hard enough, but driving on bald tires is not going to help the situation. If your tires look like they need to be changed, now is the time to do it. If you are in an area that sees a lot of snow, buying a set of snow tires may also be a good idea. Snow tires function by having more tiny grooves in the treads which collect snow. The snow in the tires will naturally want to stick to other snow, creating better traction to the vehicle.