How to Winterize Your Car
Come winter time there are a few things you need to know about your car. You not only get concerned about yourself in the extreme cold weather, but also about how your car is going to take the below freezing temps. It is not that your car feels the cold temps, but the below normal temperature does affect it. You may use heavy jackets and boots to tackle the cold yourself, but what can you do to make you car also withstand the colder weather?
The only solution is to winterize your car by checking or adding a few things to leesen the affects. Here is the list of things to do to winterize your car.
Change of Engine Oil: The engine is the heart of the vehicle. Due to its inherent property, the oil gets thick as it gets cold, which then cannot lubricate the engine well. For extreme winters one should switch to thinner or less viscous oil, such as 5W20 or 5W30. Check you owners manual for information and whats best your your vehicle.
Engine Coolant: The coolant saves not only the engine from overheating, but also protects it against corrosion. In extreme winters, one should use the coolant with ethylene glycol as the antifreeze element, and mix it with water in the ratio as suggested in the vehicle’s manual. Generally, it is in the ratio of 60% coolant to 40% water.
Your Battery: Check the age of your battery. If the battery is due to be replaced, be proactive before you get stranded. Otherwise, follow the procedure of cleaning the battery terminals . Have the battery checked for its ability to hold a charge under load.
Check the Belts and Hoses: You need to perform a full inspection to make sure there is no wear and tear in the belts and hoses, as the cold temperatures make them brittle and crack.
Tires: Check the air pressure in the tires, Pressure lowers with the drop in temperature. Make sure the tires are in good condition. Check the condition of tread as opposed to the wear bars between the tread.
Wear bars are a small marker located in the water channels between the tread at various points around the tire. replacement should be when tread wears down to this elevated surface.
Replace the windshield wiper blades, if it had not been, in about a year. Fill up the windshield washer reservoir with a winter mix windshield washer fluid, as plain water freezes in extreme cold conditions. Check that the lights, heater, and defroster are in perfect working condition.
Get the car properly tuned, and the brakes checked if not done recently. Try to keep the gas tank full to prevent moisture entering and freezing the gas lines. Don’t forget a check the spare spare tire.
Last, but not the least is the emergency winter kit in the trunk of your car, consisting of a blanket, ice scraper, gloves, and a flashlight. In addition, warm clothes, and boots may be handy also.
A winterized car will make your trip more enjoyable, because you can now trust that the car will rough out in any cold extremes.