We have already had a taste of what winter weather feels like. Is your car prepared? Mechanical failure or other car problems can be deadly in winter conditions. Better Business Bureau (BBB) suggests if you will be traveling into or through harsh winter weather areas over the holidays, now is the time to prepare your car.
Your BBB offers the following 10 tips to better winterize your Vehicle:
- Check your battery, especially if you are within one year of your warranty. Make sure the cables are clean of corrosion and that the connections are tight. It takes a lot more power to start your car when it is cold outside.
- Make sure your coolant system is working efficiently. Cars can overheat in the winter as well as in the summer. Check the level, pH and concentration of radiator fluids. A mixture of 50% anti-freeze and 50% water will protect down to –40 degrees Fahrenheit; do not exceed 70% anti-freeze or overheating may occur.
- Be sure your tires are inflated properly and in good shape. Properly inflated tires help avoid improper tread wear and can improve gas mileage. Thin or uneven tread wear does not provide good traction and can be very dangerous in winter weather. If there is uneven wear on the treads, you should have your alignment checked by a professional.
- Add a de-icer to your fuel. If temperatures drop below freezing. A de-icer can keep moisture in the fuel system from freezing.
- Change your oil and oil filter. Check your owner’s manual for the different grades of oil that are recommended for winter. In most cases, 10w30 oil will work in warm weather and for short periods of cold winter temperatures.
- Have a professional inspect your vehicle. Replace old air filter, rubber hoses and drive belts. Old, damaged or loose hoses and belts can cause your automobile to be inoperable in severe weather conditions.
- Inspect all lights. Check your headlights, tail lights, brake lights and signal lights to assure they are working properly.
- Check your wipers and washers. Make sure your wipers are in good working order and your washers are filled with windshield washer fluid that is appropriate for cold weather. You may want to consider replacing your wiper blades to winter blades. These blades can function well under extreme cold and snowy conditions.
- Be sure your heater and defroster are working properly for passenger comfort and visibility.
- Car safety supplies are very important. During the winter months equip your car with an ice scraper, spare bottle of washer fluids, boots, gloves, flares, blankets, flashlight with spare batteries. A small shovel and some sand or kitty litter work well to increase traction in case of emergency.
You can find trustworthy companies that provide auto repair services online at northalabama.bbb.org.