6 Winter Car Care Tips to Outwit Jack Frost
Jack Frost can definitely make it challenging to preserve your car’s condition during the winter. Cold air and inclement weather can take a toll on tires’ air pressure, as well as your vehicle’s battery and braking system. Here are six winter car maintenance tips to help your vehicle run safely and smoothly during the colder months.
Winter Break: Seasonal service tips when you’re driving less
Check the tires
First things first, be sure you have the right kind of tires on your car. If you live in a place that gets a lot of snow, consider switching to winter tires that have deeper tread and enhanced traction to give you more peace of mind on slick roads.
And whether or not you elect to swap out the tires, make it a point to check tire pressure frequently. With every drop of 10 degrees Fahrenheit, a tire will lose about one pound of pressure, as WHIO-TV confirms. For optimal safety, keep your tires properly inflated all season.
Replace windshield wiper blades
We recommend replacing your blades twice a year, and pre-winter maintenance is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of this. Snow, sleet, and fog will decrease visibility. New wiper blades will give you more confidence going into winter, knowing that these tools will help your car handle whatever inclement weather the season brings.
Manage the fluids
And no, we’re not talking about remembering bathroom breaks. In the winter months, you’ll want to keep your car’s fluids from freezing. This means changing your oil and using a thinner, less viscous product. You’ll also want to use windshield washer fluid specifically formulated to not freeze during colder temperatures, as well as an antifreeze engine coolant. It’s also a good idea to add fuel deicer to your more-than-half-full tank once a month.
Inspect the battery
Professional equipment is the only true way to evaluate car batteries. You don’t want a weak, old battery to leave you stranded in the cold, so it is important to have a certified mechanic check it out before the temperature drops too low. If it’s been a while since the last time you replaced it, it’s probably time for a new one.
Pack emergency supplies
In case you are stranded, or maybe just stuck in a long traffic jam, equip your vehicle with the items you might need. Store the emergency kit in the glove box where it’s easily accessible and the bulkier items, such as extra clothes and blankets, in the backseat instead of the trunk. Other useful objects to pack include the following: a flashlight and radio (with batteries), flares, some provisions, a first aid kit, boots, blankets, coats, hats, gloves, and a bowl to catch snow for water. An ice scraper and snow shovel are two other practical tools to keep in your vehicle. And you might also want to pack extra engine oil, coolant, and washer fluid.
Avoid getting frozen out
Always carry lock de-icer with you so you don’t get locked out of your car. It might help to keep one de-icer product at home and one at your place of school or work.
Read more about the benefits of getting winter tires for your car. Then refresh your memory about when you should and shouldn’t leave your windshield wipers up during winter.
Cold-Weather Checkup: Schedule your winter maintenance appointment
Whitney Russell is a current resident of Dayton, though her spirit can be found beach-bumming in Puerto Rico (the land of her half-Puerto Rican heritage). When not adventuring through the exciting world of car news, she can be found hiking with her husband and their two dogs, motorcycling, visiting nephews and nieces, discovering new memes, thrifting, decorating, crafting, woodburning, researching random things, and escaping into a great movie. See more articles by Whitney.