Winterizing Your Car: What to Check
Get out the ice scraper because winter is here!
Cold temperatures, road salt, snow, slush, and ice present unique challenges for car owners and their vehicles. If you fail to winterize your car, you may find yourself in an expensive, and potentially, dangerous situation. Avoid the hazards and hassles by performing these winter car checks.
First, What Does Winterizing a Car Mean?
Winterizing a car is an auto maintenance practice that prepares your car for winter driving and eliminates the potential risks posed by cold weather. It involves checking various aspects of a car’s performance. Inspecting and fixing problems with tires, brakes, the coolant system, and wiper blades are all ways to keep your car in working order during the winter months.
How to Winterize Your Car from Tires to Fluids
From rubber to water, many common materials used in car manufacturing are particularly susceptible to cold weather degradation. They freeze, rust, and wear out more quickly with winter driving. For proper winter car care, be sure to check these parts of your vehicle.
Starting with the most important part of a car to check: the tires. Without properly working tires, the risk for slipping and sliding during inclement weather greatly increases. This is one of the most dangerous things to neglect during cold weather. However, there are two main aspects of your tires to prioritize.
- Tread Depth: You can think of tire tread depth as the deepness of the grooves in your tires. These grooves allow the tire to adhere to the road which keeps your car controllable. Tread depth can be assessed at home using the penny tread test. However, because it’s so important for safety if you’re a novice it’s best to allow our professionals to check this for you.
- Tire Pressure: As temperatures change, so does the air pressure in your tires. In fact, with every 10-degree change in temperature your air pressure changes by 1 PSI. Proper air pressure during the winter is vital for tire traction and driving ability. The ideal air pressure levels can be found in your owner’s manual but sometimes it’s easier to allow us to diagnose and correct tire pressure changes.
Winter is particularly hard on car batteries because extreme temperatures cause additional stress that milder weather does not. If you park your car outside during the cold months, this stress is amplified. To make sure your battery has enough juice to last through winter, you’ll want to get a battery test and have Perfection Automotive fix and prevent any car battery terminal corrosion.
Coolant System Service
Another essential part of winterizing your car is winterizing car coolant systems. While this isn’t required yearly, don’t skip an annual inspection. For optimal winter performance, your coolant system may need a complete flush and a pressure test. Belts, coolant hoses, connections, and clamps also need to be inspected to be sure your car is safe. Any of these aspects of the coolant system could fail at any time of year, but the wintertime is the worst because you’ll be stranded in a freezing car waiting for help. Don’t risk it!
Wiper blades should be replaced twice a year but this is often overlooked by the average car owner. When driving during the winter, decreased visibility becomes incredibly problematic. If your wipers are old, freezing temperatures and ice can tear the rubber rendering your wiper blades ineffective. To avoid losing sight of the road, you’ll need to make sure your car’s windshield wipers are up to the cold-weather challenge.
The most notable fluids associated with winterizing your vehicle are anti-freeze and windshield washer fluid. The anti-freeze in your car needs to have a ratio of 50% water and 50% anti-freeze. Making sure you have the right ratio and the right levels requires diagnostic tools and specialized training. Enlist an honest and qualified auto technician at Perfection Automotive to help you with this winterizing step.
Conversely, windshield wiper fluid is simpler. However, it’s important to drain your old wiper fluid and replace it with a winter formula. Winter driving necessitates a clear windshield and clearing snow and ice from your windshield requires more fluid. So, make sure you stay on top of your car’s fluid levels this winter season.
Winter Car Service
Does all of this seem overwhelming? It’s a lot to think about, we know. Let Perfection Automotive winterize your car for you this season! We’ll make sure your car is safe to drive and winter-ready for one low price.
We inspect your car top to bottom including:
- Wiper Blades
- Belts, Coolant Hoses, Connections, and Clamps
- Heating System & Defrost Operations
- Water Pump & Electrical Fan/ Fan Clutches
- Battery, Charging System, & Starter
- Tire Condition & Tread
- Complete Brake, Steering, & Suspension Inspection
But there’s more! Our service special also includes:
- Blade Replacements (As Needed)
- Battery Cable End Service
- Full Coolant System Flush
- Coolant System Pressure Test
- A Top Off on All Fluids
- Tire Pressure Check & Fill
Have more questions about how to winterize your car? Want to schedule a winter service appointment? Contact us today!