Preparing Your Car for the Winter
A cold winter will certainly have an adverse impact on your car. There are few winters out there colder than those up here in the northeast of the country. Whether it’s your battery, tires, undercarriage, oil and other parts of your car, the winter can come for them all. It’s important you take some precautionary steps to prepare for the cold season where you are. Lucky for you, we’ve prepared this handy guide to point you in the direction of the most vulnerable parts of your car and what you can do to protect them.
- Book a pre-winter service
The first thing you can do is call up your dealership and arrange a quick checkup for your most crucial systems — brakes, transmission, power steering, heating etc. Any one of these things not working properly can result in a serious compromise of safety. Furthermore, they are hardly things that the average driver can just pop under the hood and check themselves. Best left to the professionals.
Your battery’s capacity is severely impacted by very cold winters. In extremely low temperatures, the battery can freeze up which makes it dangerous to use. Fortunately, a total battery freezing is pretty rare, but if your area is experiencing especially cold temperatures, take a look before you try to start up the car. Check for signs of corrosion to. You’ll typically see a white flakey substance that you can clean easily with simple corrosion remover and a wire scrubber.
In extreme conditions, winter tires are unbeatable since they offer the best traction, tread and safe materials that will help keep you steady on winter roads. If you really aren’t opting for winter tires, then check your existing ones for cracks, wear and improper inflation. Your dealership mechanic will have a gauge to check the pressure more precisely.
- A proper wash and detailing
With all the salt, mud, gravel and other contaminants that find their way onto winter roads, your car’s body and undercarriage are going to take a beating or two this winter. With a proper wash and wax before winter sets in, you can provide your paintwork with 1-2 months of protection from the pesky particles. Try detailing with a clay bar as well, which really gets down to the most stubborn embedded granules of everything.
Temperature affects the viscosity of your car’s engine oil, so check with your mechanic on what type of oil you are using (if you don’t already know). Modern synthetic oils usually come with variable viscosity and are designed to stay effective in the cold weather. Traditional oils can go more viscous and lose their lubricating edge.
Stay safe on the winter roads. Ask your dealership mechanic for further help on winterizing your car.