Winter-weather conditions not only affect the road you drive on, but they can also place significant stress on the vehicle you drive. Avoid serious cold-weather breakdowns, as well as costly auto repairs, this winter by preparing your car for the season now. To ensure that you and your vehicle are winter-ready, protect the interior and exterior with these tips.
How To Winterize Your Car
1. Check The Tires
Use a pressure gauge tool to check tire pressure, as every 10 degree drop in temperature causes tires to lose 1 pound per square inch of air pressure (psi). Check these levels once a month during the winter to avoid excess wear from deflation.
Also, consider switching to snow tires if you live in an area that experiences extreme cold or significant snow and ice. If you do not require snow tires, you still may need to rotate your current ones to promote even wear throughout the season. Bald tires are more dangerous in winter because of icy roads that require more traction while being driven on.
2. Test the Battery
Schedule a battery test with your local auto repair center to see if any of the components need charging or replacing. Winter weather slows chemical reactions in car batteries, causing them to lose power. The technician will also check the battery for leaks and clean any corrosion to keep your vehicle operational during winter.
3. Inspect & Replace Fluids
Ask your auto repair center to inspect your motor oil, transmission fluid, windshield wiper fluid, and brake fluid for contamination and leaks. Cold temperatures cause vehicle fluids to freeze, which reduces lubrication and increases part wear and tear. Dirty fluids are even less likely to flow efficiently during winter because they’re thicker. Lack of windshield wiper fluid also compromises driving safety on snowy days, as it can impair your vision.
4. Check The Heater & Defroster
Have the heater and defroster professionally checked to keep your vehicle warm and your windows fog-free on the coldest days of the year. Your heating system air filter needs cleaning after collecting pollen, dust, dirt, and other exterior contaminants all summer. Running the heating system now additionally checks for any problems that need fixing before winter, while a defroster check ensures your back window remains free of condensation.
5. Update Your Emergency Kit
Add blankets and hand warmers to the kit, as well as cat litter for tire traction. Also, add an ice scraper and brush, shovel, gloves and hats, coolant, flashlight, and non-perishable food. Emergency kits also typically contain first aid products such as antiseptics, bandages, and scissors. These can help keep you safe in the event of a breakdown during frigid weather.
Get car winterization help from the auto repair experts at Muffler Brothers. This certified Goodyear® dealer and Jasper®-preferred dealer serve Chillicothe, Ross County, and Southern Ohio, providing a full suite of car maintenance services including oil changes, engine repair, and wheel alignment. Call (740) 772-1890 today to schedule an appointment or visit the auto repair center online for more information.