The cold weather is officially upon us – no turning back now. If you are like me you’ve already packed your summer clothes away in the back of your closet and dug out the jeans, sweaters, hoodies and snow boots. Switched from iced coffee to hot – even switched your nail polish to the darker winter colors instead of summer brights. Just like we have to make adjustments for the cold winter weather, we need to make adjustments for our cars as well.
Change Up the Engine Oil. Just like you might use different shampoo or lotion in the winter, your car needs different oil. During the winter if you live anywhere where temps might get below freezing,you should think of switching to a thinner oil. For example if you use a 10W 30 oil, for winter you may want to switch to 5W 30. If you are unsure check your manual, or with a professional.
Battery Check-Up. Your battery capacity is reduced by the cold weather, too. A thorough inspection of your battery, cables, terminals, and fluid will help you make sure your car is ready for the winter. Check the cables for breaks or cracks, make sure the terminals fit correctly and there isn’t any loose connections. Check battery fluid, level of charge in your battery and even check the date. The older the manufacture date, the more likely you will lose charge.
Emergency Kit. If you don’t already have some sort of emergency kit in your car – you need to get one now! If you do, make sure it’s ready for the winter. Besides making sure you have a working spare time and tools to change one, you may want to look at adding flares, blankets, snow boots, emergency radio, extra engine oil, washer fluid, coolant, hats and gloves.
Snow Tires. Some think that all season tires will work just as well as winter tires in the snow, but that’s far from true. Snow tires gives you more control and traction in the ice and snow. Mounting and rotating the tires correctly can give you a huge advantage when driving through the snow. To make sure that your tires are snow ready visit your local dealership,like Junction Auto near Cleveland to make sure they are correctly mounted.
Check Engine Coolant. Your engine coolant is not only for keeping your engine well, cool, but also for protecting your engine from corrosion. Before it gets too cold make sure you are using coolants with ethylene glycol to help protect it. Most manual’s will let you know what your engine needs when it comes to the coolant / water ratio. For most cars a winter ratio is 60 /40. Sixty percent coolant, and forty percent water. Adjusting this ratio during the winter months is an important step.
Windshield Treatments. This is one of the easiest – and most important part of winterizing is using a winter windshield treatment. Being able to clean off the wet dirty snow and ice off your windshield use a washer fluid with an antifreeze solution. Be careful though, some washer fluids can be a bit harsh and damage car paint.