When the weather is hot you slid into your car and crank up the air conditioner. When the weather is cold you get in your car with the heat on full blast. You might experience the weather and temperature briefly, but thanks to your car you probably get to a comfortable temperature fairly quickly. Your car, on the other hand, is stuck in the elements all the time. If you, and your car, are lucky, you might have a garage that your car can escape to for some relief. However, as temperatures rise and fall your car feels it. So, as cool Fall temperatures turn into frigid Winter weather, here are 11 tips for you to get your car ready for the freezing temperatures and all that comes with them.
- Have your battery and charging system checked. Be sure they are ready to roll. Cold weather is brutal on batteries.
- Clean and flush your antifreeze system. Then, put new antifreeze in. You don’t need to do this every year, but every other year is a good practice.
- Get your heaters and defrosters checked for proper functionality. Also, check (and maybe replace) your wipers. Wiper blades should be replaced 1-2 times a year.
- Check your tire tread depth. Use a quarter in the tread and if you can see the top of George’s head you better get those tires replaced. If you live in an especially cold climate, consider getting winter weather tires. Be sure to check your tire pressure frequently as well.
- Change your oil and oil filter (and keep the changes up to date and regular). In especially cold climates dirty oil can be disastrous in the Winter. For those types of climates consider using a “winter weight” oil. All filters should be checked as well.
- Consider using an oil additive to reduce wear and tear on your engine. Less friction means better performance and more efficiency from your oil. This can help you avoid disastrous oil pressure, overheating, and other issues in the winter.
- span>Consider using a fuel additive or fuel supplement to keep your fuel fresh during the winter. This is especially helpful for vehicles that may not be used as much during the winter.
- Get a tune-up before winter cold weather hits. Cold weather magnifies any problems that may exist.
- Get your breaks checked. Winter, cold weather, ice, and bad breaks are a disastrous combo.
- span>Get the exhaust system checked. Carbon monoxide leaks are dangerous all the time but especially so in the winter with windows up.
- Check all of your lights – interior and exterior.
Bonus tip – if you drive a diesel fuel vehicle, get a quality diesel fuel additive or anti-gel additive to prevent your fuel from freezing and gelling up. For tips on what to keep in your car in case of emergencies check out this article.
When Winter is over, check out these tips to prep your car for Spring.