Winter Maintenance Tips
The winter season is tough on everything including your car. If you have ignored winter car maintenance, you are more likely to experience frequent car breakdowns. The only solution to staying away from car problems in the winter is following these winter maintenance tips given below.
Check Engine Oil and Filters
In single-digit temperatures, the engine oil thickens. This means the engine oil will not flow freely when the engine is cold. This puts additional stress on the starter and filter. If the motor oil is thin, it will not provide good protection against friction. If you have not changed the engine oil for a year, get fresh engine oil. Read the car owner’s manual to select oil with the right viscosity for winter. If the filters are clogged, get a new oil filter.
Keep the Fuel Tank Full
In the winter season, it is always good to keep your fuel tank full. The reason for this is atmospheric moisture in the fuel tank will condense and turn into ice. The result is that your car will have starting problems due to frozen fuel lines. When you keep the fuel tank full, there is no room for atmospheric moisture which will prevent icing of fuel lines.
Change to Winter Tires
If you live in a region that receives heavy snowfall during the entire winter, your car needs winter tires. Using regular tires in the winter season increases the risk of accidents. The reason for this is that regular tires are built for warmer conditions. In freezing temperatures, regular tires do not give good traction performance as the tread rubber hardens. The tread rubber of winter tires stays soft even at temperatures below freezing. The result is that your car will have good traction performance even when roads are covered with ice or snow.
Keep the Windshield Washer Reservoir Full
During the winter season, you will need the washer fluid to remove stubborn ice or other debris from the windshield. If the windshield washer reservoir is dry, the pipes and the windshield washer pump might corrode which will make it non-functional. Hence, you need to ensure the windshield washer reservoir has the right type of washer fluid which does not freeze in winter.
Check the Coolant in the Radiator
Coolant is important in winter as it prevents your engine from freezing. You need to ensure the coolant level in the radiator is between the minimum and maximum level. It will not only protect your engine but also help the heating system work efficiently. The coolant is generally a 50/50 mixture of antifreeze compound and water. The antifreeze compound becomes thinner and less effective with time and usage. You can top the coolant with antifreeze compound to make it more effective.
Maintain Adequate Tire Pressure
As the temperature falls, the air pressure in tire also reduces. The air pressure in the tire is reduced by 1-2 pounds with every 10° drop in temperature. Hence, you need to ensure that all tires have the recommended air pressure.
Ignoring winter maintenance is inviting car problems which can lead to expensive emergency repairs. If you have not performed winter maintenance, do it now to make sure your car is fit for the road.