Winter is an especially brutal time of the year for your vehicle. That’s why we’ve compiled below some tips for keeping your car in peak condition this winter!
Check and Maintain the Battery
One of the main worries for drivers during the winter should be their vehicle’s battery. The frigid conditions are especially hard on a car’s battery and can drain as much as half of its power when the temperature drops into the single digits.
Car owners should check their battery’s fluid levels to ensure it has enough juice for the winter. Drivers should also consider having it professionally tested at a service station or parts store. Many of these establishments will do it free of charge and give drivers a firm idea of how healthy their batteries are.
Inspect Your Vehicle’s Fluids
Cold weather is also tough on your car’s engine and fluids, so you should inspect these elements often to ensure they’re stable. Motor oil thickens in the cold, so drivers should use oil formulated for winter use, signified by a “W” in its viscosity index.
Always watch for leaks or cracks in the car’s radiator and other hoses, and ensure they feel flexible to the touch instead of stiff and brittle. Of course, antifreeze is critical for your car’s survival in cold conditions, so ensure the coolant is at the proper levels, and consider adding some more to boost the 50/50 antifreeze/water ratio closer to 60/40.
Watch Your Tire Pressure
Another tip for keeping your car in peak condition this winter is to watch your tires and their PSI pressure. As the air outside gets colder, the air inside the tires condenses, which lowers tire pressure and can drop it to dangerous levels to drive on.
For every 10 degrees the air temperature drops, your car’s tires will lose roughly 1 PSI. You never want your tires to drop below the lowest tire pressure you can drive on, so check their PSI using your car’s tire pressure monitoring system or a manual PSI gauge.
Get New Winter Tires
If your tires are becoming worn down or are general, all-purpose tires, you’ll likely want to consider getting new, special winter tires for the season. If your area sees a lot of snow and ice, winter tires will dramatically improve your vehicle’s safety and handling.
Winter tires feature tread patterns and rubber compounds that provide greater grip on the road, even with snow and ice. This can be the difference between sliding into an accident and stopping safely during the winter.
Invest in New Wipers
Winter means more driving at night and against rain, sleet, and snow, so equip your car with the tools to provide greater visibility. If your car has old, streaky wiper blades, you should replace them immediately with new, high-quality wipers. Winter wiper blades are a great investment if your area has long winters.
Now that you know what it takes to prepare your car for winter, what are you waiting for? Keep our tips in mind, and we’re sure your car will be ready to tackle the frigid challenges that winter brings.