It was a Monday morning, and you were mindlessly rushing to the office, completely ignoring the snowstorm that happened a few hours ago. You hop in your car, and it takes a while to start, but you don’t bother anyway because the old trusty buddy has never failed you.!
Lost in these thoughts, you suddenly find yourself sliding on a patch of ice. You slam on the brakes, hoping for the best, but it only worsens things, and BAM!!!
Oh! You hit the snow bank, covering your car in the snow and making your igloo! But give yourself a reality check because your car battery is dead now, and the frost has jammed shut the windows and doors. So now what? What are the chances of surviving under snow without food, gloves, blankets, or anything?
Because it happens rarely, many people don’t even consider it a problem, but it can land you in some SERIOUS trouble!
So, winterize your car with professional auto repair services if you don’t want to be in a nightmare.
10 Tips to Winterize Your Car in Cold Weather
“Winterizing” a car means getting your vehicle ready for cold temperatures and snowy conditions. Check out our ten handy tips to keep your vehicle running smoothly during the freezing months. So let’s begin!
1. Check your Battery
The first thing that gets affected when the cold hits is your battery, whose power can be significantly reduced by up to 50% if not properly tested. Replace your battery if it is three years old or older because it can die or keep you stranded when the cold strikes.
So, to ensure your battery can withstand cold, follow these steps.
- If your battery is five or older, it’s time for a replacement.
- For three-year or older batteries, it’s a good idea to have them checked annually and replace the weak ones.
- If the battery is three years old or older, get it checked every year and replace it if it is weak.
- Don’t forget to regularly check that all the cables, terminals, and connections are clean, undamaged, and corrosion-free.
2. Check the Tire Pressure
Every year before the fall begins, checking your tire pressure and wheel alignment should be a part of your car maintenance routine. Generally, the air pressure in your tires decreases when the cold strikes. And the weather condition gets harsh over time, so the chances of your tires losing pressure will increase if you don’t want to get stuck on a roadside with a deflated tire. They do check the tire pressure before leaving home.
3. Consider Snow Tires
If you live in an area where heavy snowfalls, wet or icy roads are common, you must seriously consider changing your regular set of tires to snow tires. Your tires must be well-equipped to handle an adverse situation. The reason for this replacement is to reduce the chances of CRASH! When they come in contact with snow or ice, the top layer of the ice melts and creates a slippery film of water, just like when you’re skating.
4. Change the Motor Oil
Another tip to winterize your car is to replace it with oil with a thinner and lower viscosity. Because cold weather causes oil to get thick, lubricating the engine’s metal surface stops them from grinding. The density significantly affects your engine performance. Viscous oil moves too slowly in the parts of the machine that make the engine hot. Therefore if you’re living in an area where the temperature drops below freezing, replace your oil with a thin viscosity. Refer to the owner’s manual to confirm the type of oil that you should use. Most technicians recommend changing your oil every 3000 miles or once every three months.
5. Level up the Antifreeze
Antifreeze is an essential engine coolant that keeps your engine from freezing in the cold and overheating in the scorching heat. In hot weather, antifreeze keeps the water in your machine and radiator from boiling. A 50:50 ratio of water and antifreeze in your radiator is essential because it keeps your fluids from freezing, even in bone-chilling temperatures. You can quickly get pre-mixed bottles of antifreeze and water at gas stations. Stay ahead of the freeze and keep your radiator in tip-top shape! If unsure of your radiator’s fluid composition, head to your local car shop or hardware store and pick up an antifreeze tester.
6. Replace the Windshield Wiper Blades
Low visibility can make driving super dangerous. Therefore, it is essential to have good wiper blades. To stay safe, make sure to change your wiper blades after every six to 12 months. And remember to keep your wiper fluid topped up too. It can help break up snow and ice on your windshield.
7. Schedule a Belt Assessment
Materials get brittle and prone to breaking during cold weather, so whenever you visit the mechanic to change the car’s oil, do not forget to ask him to check your belts and hoses. This assessment is critical if you want to stay ahead of time.
8. Keep Your Fuel Tank Full
Has it ever happened to you that you waited till the last moment to fill up your gas tank only to save a few bucks? You never know, but this money-making scheme can land you in serious trouble, especially in winter. Keep your gas tank half full to prevent moisture from building up in the fuel lines and freezing and keep you stranded in emergencies.
9. Put Together a Winter Kit
During summer, keeping water bottles, sunscreen, and emergency kits in your car is always a good idea. But in the winter, you need to think ahead. Keep some additional material in the trunk beside a spare tire with extra tools to change out a flat one. You can add up the things like bottles of engine oil, washer fluid, and coolant. An ice scraper is crucial since you cannot go anywhere with frozen snow blocking your view. Also, restock any medical or automobile supplies in winter that you have already used in the summer season to stay safe on the road.
10. Check Your Heater and Defroster
Your car’s windshield gets foggy in the winter because the moisture inside the car condenses on the glass, making it hard to see. Defrosters help you by clearing all the fog from the windshield, giving you a clear and visible view. But, even after using heaters and defrosters, your issue sustains, then get your car checked for any air leaks around the doors and windows that could be letting in extra moisture.
And if the car heater isn’t working correctly, it is because you may have a faulty heater coil. We know that heater coils are expensive to replace, but it’s all worth it during cold winter mornings and chilly nights!