It got a bit chilly last night and that got me thinking about the things I need to do to make sure my car is prepared for the colder temperatures. I’ve compiled a list of the things that I could think of, off the top of my head.
1. Check your tire pressure.
When the temperatures drop, your PSI drops too. Every 10 degrees lower than normal drops it by about 1 PSI. Since winter always presents the opportunity for running into an ice patch, traction is of the utmost importance.
2. Check your battery
Colder weather means less power coming from your battery. Double-check the terminals to make sure corrosion isn’t preventing your battery from connection to the cables. You can always read the article I wrote a couple of weeks ago to help with this.
3. Inspect your windshield wipers and wiper fluid.
The morning after a freeze is the worst time to find out that your wipers are in terrible condition. With our harsh summers, your blades could probably stand being replaced. In freezing weather, you run the risk of rain and snow re-freezing on your windshield while you’re driving. To combat that, use a de-icing wiper fluid. It will help with melting standing ice and prevent re-freezing.
4. Check your anti-freeze mixture.
The ideal mixture of water to anti-freeze is 50:50. If you deviate from that, you run the risk of freezing in the event of a deep freeze. Properly mixed anti-freeze won’t freeze until -34 degrees. Most store bought anti-freeze is premixed, but always double check. If you’d like to check your mixture levels, you can get a tester at your local auto parts store.
5. Check your hoses and belts.
Cold weather can harden the rubber that your belts and hoses are made of, so check them before the big freeze gets here.
6. Check your owners manual for changes in oil viscosity.
Some engines need thicker oil during the winter. Check with your owner’s manual to be sure you’re using the correct weight engine oil.
If you can think of any other tips to make your vehicle’s life easier during the upcoming winter months, find me on Facebook and tell me about them!