Winter is coming. While the snowy season looks beautiful, it can put your treasured car in bad shape. Cold temperatures lead to the iced engine, clogged tubes, empty battery, and even frozen doors.
A flat tire can even cost you your life. But with preparation, you can avoid all these mishaps. Learn ways to get your car ready for winter.
How Your Vehicle Can Get Ready for Colder Temperature
With the winter season just around the corner, your car must be ready for the cold weather. As the temperature drops, it can affect your vehicle’s engine, batteries, among others.
As a driver, you always consider your safety as well as your passengers. Hence, you should properly maintain your vehicle to avoid car breakdowns while driving in cold climates.
Batteries are critical in keeping your car functional. At sub-zero temperature, your car’s battery reduces its power by 60%.
A weak battery can leave you stuck in the road. Invest in a good quality tester to check your battery’s conductance and internal resistance – measures that reflect your battery’s overall condition - before driving in winter.
Check Battery Terminals
Your battery tester may show you promising results, but the rusty cables and terminals can betray you. Dirt, rust, acid, and debris can affect the flow of charge, thus affecting performance.
When not confident to take off the battery, call a mechanic. But many have managed to clean their car batteries by following a DIY method. Take time to learn how.
Prepare Car Tools
You can perform all the necessary preparations and still experience car breakdowns in winter. So you need to invest in a car toolkit, which includes a socket and screw set, hammer, tow strap, and jumper cables.
Bringing a toolkit on the road saves you time, waiting for mechanic rescue. Since dead batteries are usual during winter, spending time to learn how to jump-start your car battery is a life-saving skill.
Getting a car ready for winter also means you need to bring shovels, ice scrapers, and deicers. You may have parked your car outside for hours, and when you return to it, find it covered by deep snow, and you need proper tools to dig it out.
Perform Daily Tire Pressure Checks
The cold affects tire pressure. For every 10-degree decrease in temperature, your tire loses 1 to 2 PSI. Keeping your tires at their recommended PSI every morning is a good habit.
The PSI values differ depending on the vehicle type. You can find the PSI requirement somewhere at the back of your car door (driver’s side) or in the manual.
There may be a change in temperature in the middle of the day. Go ahead and drop by the nearest gasoline station or auto shop to check tire pressure and pump the air when necessary.
Change Engine Oil
Engine oil comes in different grades. When the season changes, your car’s engine oil should also change. You do not want an oil with high viscosity in winter, as this will flow rather sluggishly.
Check the auto manual for selecting the right motor oil. As a layman’s guide, choose oils with a lower grade, which signifies lower viscosity. The ‘W’ mark on the motor oil label stands for winter.
In changing motor oil, consistency matters. You should not only base it on the season but also the mileage.
When using lubricant, you need to change oil every 5,000 to 7,000 miles. When you follow through with this simple car care tip, you are halfway through your winter preparation.
Regular Car Tune-Up
Tune-ups primarily involve the replacement of spark plugs, distributor caps, rotors, and other major parts. A good benchmark is every 30,000 to 100,000 miles for tune-ups, depending on whether your car exhibits problems.
When winter comes, you should take your car for a tune-up to make sure everything functions well. In winter, the roads are wet and slippery, and the lighting is insufficient. You cannot afford to skip preventive maintenance.
Maintain Coolant at Optimum Ratio
Antifreeze is an additive that reduces a liquid's freezing point. An engine coolant is a mixture of antifreeze and water.
During sunny weather, the antifreeze-to-water ratio is 50:50. But when the weather becomes winter cold, you need to change the proportion to 60:40 to prevent water from freezing and keep your radiator functioning.
Change to Winter Wipers
Snow can block your vision and cause your wipers to get stuck. Washing with plain water may have an insignificant effect on snow-covered wipers.
Deicers help defrost snow quickly. You can create a homemade deicer by mixing water with alcohol. It may be a good idea to change to winter wiper blades that effectively remove snow from your windshield. As you drive, you can easily switch on your wipers to remove snow.
Keeping yourself warm and comfortable on long winter drives is necessary to avoid accidents. Indoor conditions can affect your driving skill and even your discernment.
Driving in negative temperatures with a broken heater is not ideal. Your hands can become frozen, making it hard to move the wheel. Make sure you have checked your heater and fix it before winter hits.
Preventive Measures During Winter with USJunkCars
Maintaining an old car during winter is not only costly but can compromise your safety. You can avoid fatal accidents by partnering with USJunkCars to sell your old car and use the cash you earn to pay for a new vehicle.
USJunkCars is in the business of buying old cars, junk cars, or any vehicles regardless of their condition. Instead of letting your old vehicle rot in the garage, you can partner with us.