Keep Your Vehicle in Top Shape This Winter

January 5th, 2016 by

Driving in the winterEvery year, winter hits before you know it, and suddenly mowing the lawn is replaced by shoveling the sidewalk. As you prepare your home and yard to withstand the cold, did you know your vehicle needs to be winterized, too?

To keep their cars running well during Jack Frost’s yearly reign, there are various things drivers should attend to.

Check Your Battery

Cold temperatures can adversely affect your vehicle’s battery capacity. When preparing for the cold, make sure you check your battery and its cables, terminals, and fluid as well as its charge level.

Prior to the advent of winter, it’s also helpful for drivers to be attentive to how old their battery is. In general, it’s recommended that drivers have their batteries checked over once a year after the three-year-old mark has passed, but check your owner’s manual to see how frequently the manufacturer recommends your specific vehicle battery should be replaced. If it’s close to the recommended time for battery replacement, think seriously about having it replaced or at least checked before the cold temperatures add their strain.

There are also some telltale signs that indicate all isn’t right with your battery, including:

  • Check engine light comes on
  • Engine crank is slow and sluggish to start
  • Swollen battery case
  • Low battery fluid
  • Leaking battery

Windshields and Wheels

Typically, when drivers hear “winterize,” the first thing they think of is their tires.

It’s true that having reliable, cold-worthy tires is important when winter hits, particularly if you live in an area that is frequently visited by snow and ice.

To be prepared, motorists can purchase all-weather tires or change over to snow tires as the cold begins to bite.

As you’re checking your tires, be sure to also fill your windshield washer fluid. Make sure you use a fluid that has antifreeze.

Freeze-Time Fluids

The oil in your vehicle is affected by the temperature at which your engine operates, so if you live in an area where temperatures are known to drop below freezing, it’s a good idea to change to a thinner oil for wintertime. Your owner’s manual or vehicle manufacturer’s website can offer some guidance regarding the best oil for your vehicle during the winter.

Drivers should also pay attention to the engine coolant in their vehicles. While that may sound like something you’d only worry about in the summer, coolant not only keeps your vehicle from overheating, it protects your engine from corrosion. For cold months, you should use coolant that contains ethylene glycol to help protect your engine.

Most automobiles should have a coolant-to-water ratio of 40% coolant to 60% water during winter. Consult your owner’s manual or a knowledgeable mechanic to determine the proper winter coolant mix for your specific vehicle.

Expert Winterization for Your Vehicle

If all these winterization tasks seem overwhelming, don’t worry—the professionals at Bosak Honda Highland are here to help. Come in or contact us today, and our friendly team of professionals will get your vehicle well prepared for winter so you can rest easy out on those cold roads. Just leave it to us!

Posted in Driving Tips