Winterize Your Vehicle

November 10th, 2014 by

winterize vehicleAs the days get shorter and the temperatures drop, the last thing you want is to be stranded on the side of the road because your vehicle wasn’t prepared for the extreme weather. Just as you ready your house for winter, as well as yourself, your car needs some attention too. It’s very important to winterize your vehicle. Here are five tips to keep you prepared and safe on the road during the cold, winter season:

Check Your Heater

It is far better to find out now that your heater is malfunctioning than it is in -20-degree weather. Check to make sure the blower is working as well as the defroster, both in the front and the back.

Check Your Antifreeze

Check your vehicle’s anti-freeze and have the coolant system flushed, if needed, before the first freeze. Your vehicle’s cooling system serves to keep it from overheating as well as protecting the engine from corrosion. If the coolant level is out of proportion, the vehicle may overheat due to freezing. Install fresh coolant, making sure you have the correct mixture of water and antifreeze, and be sure to have the system checked for leaks.

Check your battery

It’s bad enough when your vehicle won’t start on a warm, sunny day, but when the snow is up to your knees and your fingers feel like icicles as you try over and over again to get your vehicle to start, the severity of the situation can seem that much worse. There are various reasons why your vehicle’s battery will die, but extremely cold temperatures play a major role in reducing battery life. Have your battery tested and be sure it is free from corrosion.

Up To Date on Oil Changes

Make sure you are up-to-date with your oil changes. This is essential for any vehicle during every season – hot or cold. You should also take your vehicle in for a tune-up to ensure everything is running properly and to fix any problems before they worsen.

Check your tires

Cold weather can change the pressure in your tires, making them less effective. Proper tire pressure is necessary to help with traction on winter roads so be sure the pressure is correct. You may even consider getting a set of snow tires to get you through those months when the roads are dangerously slick or snow-covered.

In addition to taking the time to winterize your vehicle, prepare yourself for time on the winter roads. Plan ahead and allow more time to get to your destination to ensure that you don’t feel rushed on snow or ice-covered roads. Also, be sure you have an emergency kit in your vehicle. The kit should include a first aid kit, flares, a blanket and gloves, a flashlight, a bag of kitty litter or sand in case you get stuck, extra coolant and extra windshield wiper fluid.

Posted in Maintenance