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How To Winterize Your Car


Winter is always hard on a vehicle, there are steps you can take to reduce seasonal damage to your car and make winter driving less dangerous.

? Check your tires: Ice and snow are slippery for any tire, but especially so for worn tires or tires with low pressure. Before winter, checks to make sure that your tires are inflated to the correct air pressure. If you live in a region with frequent snowstorms, consider switching to snow tires or installing tire chains to reduce the chance of slipping.

? Inspect all belts and hoses: Cold temperatures make old belts and hoses even more likely to snap and leak. It?s a good idea to time your yearly replacement of old hoses and tires to just before winter.

? Switch to a lighter engine oil: The cold also thickens engine oil, making it a less effective lubricant. Changing to a less viscous oil during the winter helps preserve your oil?s lubricating efficiency. Your owner?s manual should have information on the different types of oil you should use in different temperatures.

? Check the coolant: Make sure the antifreeze/water mix in your coolant tank is still 50/50. You can check the mix with an antifreeze tester, an easy-to-use device you can purchase at most auto parts stores.

? Check the wipers and wiper fluid: It?s crucial that your wiper blades operate at their full capacity during winter storms. Replace your wiper blades with new ones before each winter. Consider buying a special winterized wiper fluid that contains antifreeze. Don?t add antifreeze to your wiper fluid; it will cause the wiper fluid to streak on the windshield.

? Check the battery: Cold can sap power out of a battery significantly, or even kill a battery entirely if it was already weak. Get any battery more than three years old tested at a service station, and replace it if necessary. Also check the battery cables for cracks and clean any corrosion from the posts to avoid problems.

? Prepare for being stuck: Carry some sort of abrasive material, such as kitty litter, to provide traction for tires stuck in snow or ice.

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