Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Winter Ready Wednesdays: Cold weather vehicle care

Snow is in the forecast once again this weekend. Is your vehicle prepared for travel? Extreme temperatures can be especially hard on cars. Here are some winterizing tips for your vehicle.

Make sure your car has enough of the fluids listed below:

Coolant: To keep your water from freezing inside your radiator, make sure you have the correct antifreeze/water ratio. All vehicles are different, check your owner’s manual or mechanic to make sure.

Oil: Make sure your oil is full and clean to avoid sludgy buildup.

Wiper fluid:  Because your windshield can become obstructed by slush and mud, windshield wiper fluid is an important tool during the winter. Check these levels often and use this time to inspect your wipers as well.  

It is a good idea to have back-up containers of these fluids in your vehicle.

Inspect your battery: Cold weather can kill batteries, and could leave you stranded. Inspect your car battery's wires for cracks and breaks. Inspect the connections for any corrosion and if your battery is three years old or more, get it inspected. 

Check your tires: Think of your tires as the sneakers for your car. If your sneakers are worn down you could slip on the ice. The same thing can happen with little or no tread on your tires. A good way to tell if you have plenty of tread is to place a penny in the grooves. If the top of Lincoln’s head is partially covered then you have enough tread.

Another important tire element to remember is tire pressure.  Every 10 degree change in outside temperature can cause your tire’s pressure to gain or lose one PSI.

Fill ‘er up
: It is always wise to keep your gas tank at least half full during the colder months. If your tank is below half, it the chance of a gas line freeze increases. A full gas tank full also ensures that you can stay warmer longer if you become stranded while traveling.

Check your car’s heater and defrost:
You may be able to survive quick trips without a working car heater but if the defrost doesn’t work, driving can become dangerous.  During inclement weather, snow and ice can build up fast on your windshield and visibility can disappear rapidly.  Don’t wait until the last minute to get this fixed.

And finally, before you take to the road, remember that one of the best ways to be prepared is to check the road conditions at or by dialing 511. 

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