Winterizing Your Car
Check your battery. Cold weather is tough on your battery. The chemical reactions required to generate power in a car battery slow down in extremely cold temperatures. At -15 degrees C, a fully charged battery has only half its rated amperage capacity. On top of that, during cold weather, your engine requires more amperage from the battery in order to get the engine started. Combine less power output with more power requirements and you get a car that wont start on a cold winter morning. So have Presley's Service run a battery load test to see if you need to replace the battery. Even if you dont, we will check for and clean up any corrosion he finds on your posts and connections.
Change your wiper blades and refill your wiper fluid. You need to see the road to drive safely, but the build-up of snow and ice along with salt on your windshield can greatly reduce visibility. Working windshield wipers and a full container of wiper fluid will ensure that you have a clear line of sight even in the nastiest snowstorm Presleys Service Centre will check and make sure you have extra for the trunk/ Wiper blades are only good for a year. Replace yours if they look frayed or worn. Talk to the technician at Presleys auto about buying wiper blades designed for winter weather. Top off your wiper fluid reservoir with a brand that has a lower freezing temperature. Ask the technician at Presleys Auto.
Consider getting snow tires. If you live in an area thats covered with snow for most of the winter, you should swap your regular all-season tires out for snow tires. Snow tires are made of a softer rubber than all-season tires which allows them to retain flexibility in the bitterest of cold. Snow tires also have tread patterns specially designed to grip into snow and ice. Dont get the wrong idea about snow tires. They wont magically remove the chance of you slipping and sliding in your car, but they do provide more traction than the regular variety. See last weeks article on Snow tires.
Check your tire pressure regularly. If you dont replace your regular tires with snow tires, at least keep them properly inflated during the winter. Cold weather causes air pressure in your tires to drop. For every 10 degree drop in temperature, your tires air pressure will drop about 1psi. A properly inflated tire ensures the best possible contact between the road and the tires which is essential for safe traction when driving in wintry conditions. Ask the technician at Presleys auto.
Check your four-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive can provide better traction when driving on snowy and icy roads that is if its working correctly. Have your 4WD checked by a mechanic before winter weather sets in. Theyll ensure the system engages smoothly and that the transmission and gear fluids are at their correct level. Also, if you havent used your vehicles 4WD in awhile, nows a good time to review how to operate it. Ask the technician at Presleys auto.
Check your anti-freeze mixture. The mixture of anti-freeze and water in your radiator should be about 50:50. This will prevent the coolant in your radiator from freezing. If you want to check the composition of your radiators fluid, you can pick-up an inexpensive anti-freeze tester at your local auto parts store. Ask the technician at Presleys auto.
Stock your car with emergency supplies. You never know when youll get stranded on the side of the road in a blizzard. Be prepared by having your car packed with emergency supplies. Ask the technician at Presleys auto.
Change the oil and adjust the viscosity. In order for your engine to run, it needs proper lubrication from oil. Unfortunately, cold weather reduces the oils effectiveness. The colder it is outside, the thicker the oil gets, and thick oil doesnt circulate through your engine as easily as thin oil. Consequently, your engine doesnt get the lubrication it needs during start-up and youre left with a car that wont start. Ask the technician at Presleys auto.
To prevent this cold weather headache, change your oil to one that is thinner to begin with. To find out the proper viscosity (thats the thickness or thinness of a liquid) of oil you need in the winter, check the owners manual for your car. They usually have information on proper viscosity levels for different climates. Ask the technician at Presleys auto
Check your belts and hoses. Cold temps can weaken the belts and hoses that help make your engine run. Check them for any signs of wear and tear and have them replaced if needed. If a belt snaps while youre driving, youll have to wait for a tow truck so keep blankets in your car to keep you warm while you wait. You may want to consider joining CAA as well.