Time to Winterize Your Vehicle

Posted Thursday, Dec 06, 2018

If you haven’t done so already, you should begin to winterize your vehicle. Below are the steps you should follow, but not necessarily in chronological order. Some may save you money, some may save you time, and some may save your life. All will save you some hassle.

winterize your vehicle1. Check your coolant/antifreeze level. Make sure the system is filled to capacity, including the reservoir. Before checking your coolant level, make sure the heater has ran recently- the heater core holds a certain amount of coolant itself. If you haven’t replaced your antifreeze in a few years, you should do so before the weather turns colder.

2. Change your wiper blades; as they age, they become less flexible and the cold exacerbates this. Also, never use your wipers to remove ice- always use an appropriate scraper.

3. Make sure you have an appropriate ice scraper.

4. Consider replacing your tires with a set of winter tires. Depending on the climate in which you live, this may be an extravagant expenditure or a life-saving measure. For more information about the different ratings of tires, check out this article: Understanding Tire Numbers and Letters

5. Have your battery checked- weak batteries will leave you stranded in cold weather. Obviously, colder engines are harder to turn over, so they require more torque from the starter. The starter can only supply more torque by drawing more current from the battery. If the battery is old or weak, it may not have the amount of current the starter needs.

6. Buy a set of quality jumper cables. If you followed the previous step, you shouldn't need a jump start, but you may have a neighbor or coworker who does. If you've never used a set of cables, arm yourself with the knowledge: How to Jump Start a Car the Proper and Safe Way

7. Spray lock lubricant in your door and trunk locks to keep them from freezing shut in extremely cold weather. All of the other points listed above are moot if you can't even get into your vehicle.

If you take the steps to winterize your vehicle, they can help prevent most cold weather vehicular aggravations. And, always allow your engine to warm before hitting the accelerator.

Photo courtesy of reasonablerides.com

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