By Parker Keatin
Winter time is upon us, is your car ready for the drastic change in temperatures and possibly the snow? The winter often exposes the maintenance needs for your vehicle. Unfortunately, this exposure means that you may find yourself on the side of the road, and calling your auto club for a tow to the mechanic. Far too many drivers negate their winter responsibilities to their vehicle; resulting in significant inconveniences in the worst possible season. Here, we will give you the guidance needed to make sure your car is weatherproof this winter season.
Your car battery is exceptionally vulnerable to the cold weather. The low temperatures have a negative impact on the chemical reactions that power the battery. If the temperatures drop below 5 degrees Fahrenheit, the battery can be reduced to half of its power. A cold engine also pulls more power from the battery. Make sure your battery is ready for the cold. Your local auto parts store can test your battery to assure it has enough ability to take you through the winter. The testing is provided free of charge.
The last thing anyone wants on a cold, snowy day is to have to deal with a flat tire. Make sure your tires are ready for Old Man Winter and make sure there is sufficient tire pressure in your tires. The pounds per square inch (psi) of your vehicle should be checked. The psi differs based on the size of the tire. Check the psi for your vehicle suggested by your car’s manufacturer and use a tire gauge to make sure your levels are good.
It is always a wise move to change your oil before winter time arrives. The viscosity (thickness) of your oil is affected by winter weather. To achieve maximum performance from your vehicle, changing your oil is one of the first things you will want to do. Depending on the make and model of your car, your oil should be changed when you have driven between 3,000 to 10,000 miles.
Low-visibility situations in the wintertime can be quite dangerous. Your windshield wipers and windshield wiper fluid are responsible for making sure you can clearly see the road. Worn or malfunctioning windshield wipers cause visibility issues. Before the wintertime arrives, make sure you have enough windshield fluid, and your windshield wipers are working correctly—if not replace them.
Getting a tune-up is the best way to get the optimum performance from your vehicle. Aside from getting your oil changed (often included with a tune-up) getting your car tuned up will address a variety of issues including checking and/or changing your belts and hoses, topping off your brake, transmission, and power steering fluids, and changing your spark plugs and the wires that connect to them.
The exhaust system includes the muffler and the connected piping that route the exhaust fumes away from the engine of your vehicle. The ice, salt, and snow can be very unkind to your exhaust system. The exhaust system also reduces the sound of your cars motor, and any corrosion can create holes in the muffler, which hinders this function. Have your exhaust system checked by your mechanic if you have never had it replaced? If you have a Porsche GT4 exhaust system, for instance, there are specialty systems that are designed to offer maximum performance in winter conditions.
If you live in an environment that has to contend with snow, a car cover will give you an advantage over your neighbors who will be outside scraping and brushing snow off of their vehicles on those cold winter mornings.
During the winter fuel-line, freeze-up occurs when a car does not have sufficient gasoline, and the condensation from the cold weather introduces water to your gasoline. The water in the fuel causes it to freeze in the fuel line, which prevents your car from starting. You can easily prevent your fuel lines from freezing by making sure you maintain a sufficient level of gasoline in your vehicle. As long as you have enough gasoline, the water will not have the same effect on the gasoline.
Just as you have to prepare your wardrobe for the cold weather, your car also needs to be equipped to brave the elements. Don’t let the winter creep up on you without having addressed the issues we have identified here. Your car will surely thank you for it.