Whether you live on the east coast, are planning a winter road trip, or the cold weather is just around the corner, you need make sure your vehicle is prepared for even the harshest winter conditions in your area.
Christian Brothers Automotive can assist you with staying safe and preparing your vehicle for winter. Not only are our local auto repair shops always available to assist you in the proper winterization of your vehicle, but we’re also here to help you discover some of the ways winter weather can affect your vehicle and tips on how to prepare your vehicle for dropping temperatures, snow, heavy wind, and more.
1. Inspect Your Tires
With a little research and practice, you’ll notice that “check tires” is frequently the first item on any auto inspection checklist – and for good reason: your tires are your only point of contact on the road.
Check your tires regularly’:
The tread on your tires is critical for your vehicle’s traction on the road. When driving on winter roads with rain, mud, or snow, traction control becomes even more vital.
The penny trick is the simplest technique to evaluate the tread on your tire. Simply place the head side into the middlemost tread marker. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, your tread is worn and you should consider obtaining new tires.
Good tire air pressure keeps your car’s tires in good condition all year and keeps your vehicle safer on the road during the winter months. Find the correct air pressure for your tire on the door and compare it with a tire pressure tester.
If you need air, go to a gas station, tire store, or auto repair shop to fill up your tires. Remember that cold weather reduces tire pressure, so don’t be shocked if you need to fill them again before the end of the year.
Winter is an excellent time to consider upgrading your vehicle’s tires. Why? Because a brand-new set will benefit you the most during the winter! Tires older than six years should be replaced, regardless of wear depth, to provide optimum handling for your vehicle.
Tires that are old, smooth, or flat are not what you want before driving on winter weather-worn roads because they might decrease your stopping ability on slippery or wet roads and make it more difficult to gain control.
If you notice anything wrong with your tires during your examination, take it to a local auto shop for a second opinion – and possibly a new set of tires if necessary! If you frequently drive through deep snow, upgrading to winter tires may be more effective.
2. Turn Your Car’s Heater On
The last thing you want to deal with on a cold drive is a faulty heater. And, sadly, you can’t just assume it will operate well after not using it all summer.
Make sure your car’s heater is ready for cold weather by turning it on and checking that everything is blowing and heating properly. The heater is dependent on your vehicle’s cooling system, which is also where the antifreeze or coolant is stored, therefore it’s also worth inspecting your cooling system.
Confirm that your car’s cooling system:
- Is the proper antifreeze for outside temperatures being used?
- Has the proper fluid level
- Is at the proper pressure by doing a pressure test
We recommend that you undertake these checks at your local Christian Brothers Automotive. You will be unable to do a pressure test or ensure that you are using the correct sort of antifreeze if you do not have the necessary equipment. Explore our guide and other cooling system blogs to learn more about your cooling system and how it might effect the comfort of your car’s cabin!
3. Check Your Car Battery
In the winter, car batteries are infamous for failing. Not only do they gradually lose charge as temperatures drop, but their overall charging capacity also decreases, making it more difficult to maintain a sufficient power charge in the first place.
First and foremost, check for swelling and rust. You can also use a voltmeter to check the charge of your battery or bring it into an auto shop for assistance.
To make sure your battery is charged and ready to go during the winter, you can:
- Wrap Your Battery – Adding additional insulation to your car’s battery will assist minimize the grip of the cold weather. Battery blankets are inexpensive and simple to install when ordered online.
- Don’t Leave Your Car Outside – During the winter, keep your car in an enclosed area, such as a garage. This keeps things warm while also keeping you out of the cold breeze.
- Accessories – Unplug Because your battery won’t have as much power as usual, be sure no unneeded power is being consumed. To save power, unplug car lighter adapters, USB cords, and other devices when your car is not in use.
Consider getting a new car battery if you suspect something is amiss with your current one. You’ll still have to deal with the power limitations of colder weather, but the newer the battery, the more reliable it will be in getting you where you need to go.