Has this happened to you lately? You jump in your truck or car in the morning, and it feels like someone left the freezer open all night! It’s been cold lately! We’ve had some mornings that were definitely below freezing temperatures, and this can affect your car. Here are some tips for taking care of your car in cold weather:
1. Take time to warm up. Remember to always give your car a little extra time to warm up in cold weather. If you have a self-starter, start it up 10 minutes before you go to get in it. If you don’t have a self-starter, make sure you get in the vehicle and let it warm up for a little bit. This will allow the fluids, oil, everything to warm up before you jump in and take off. Rushing off when everything is still cold is not good for your vehicle’s longevity.
2. Watch out for frozen windshield wipers. If it’s raining, and it looks like that rain might turn to ice overnight, pull your windshield wiper blades up off the window. A lot of times there will be frost or ice, and it will freeze your windshield wiper blades to your window! People will get in their car and try to wipe off the windows first thing—but if your wiper blades are frozen, that won’t work! So either pull them up off of the window and leave them suspended in the air overnight, or get in your vehicle and defrost the window way ahead of time so that by the time you need to drive and clean your windshield, your wiper blades are unfrozen and can move.
3. Keep your tires aired up. Make sure you have good air pressure in your tires. Cold air is dense and will bring your tire pressure down. Your tire pressure lights will come on, and then you’ll have to worry about whether or not you’ve got a flat. So make sure our pressures are good! Usually this means 35 psi on standard cars and trucks. For heavy-duty vehicles, this will be a lot higher, up into the 45-55 psi range.
4. Check your antifreeze and wiper fluid. This is also a good time to think about coolant or antifreeze. This is the life-giving, engine-saving liquid that you need to have in your vehicle to keep your car from overheating. A lot of times people will drive around with just water. You definitely don’t want to do that! Most of the time you want to have a good 50/50 mix. If you haven’t had your coolant flushed in awhile, make sure you get out there and get it done. Or, just stop by and make sure you get it checked out. Also, you want to make sure you have enough windshield wiper fluid in. If you’re in colder areas, make sure you use a high alcohol-based wiper fluid so that it doesn’t freeze. Here in the south, there are some brands that are not as high in alcohol, but you can use them here.
5. Never forget your oil! Make sure your oil is good. If you’re using a little heavier oil in the summer time, you definitely want to lighten that up in the winter time, so that you don’t have thick oil going into your motor.
6. Make sure your battery can handle the cold. Check your battery! Make sure it’s charged and ready to go, and able to handle cold cranking starts. Right now, with the cold temperatures we’ve been having, it will take a lot more power to turn that motor over. You want to make sure your battery has good cold cranking amps!
So stop by anytime, and let us know how we can help you! If you’re not using us, ask someone you trust, someone who knows how to handle your vehicle, to get your vehicle checked over for the winter temperatures. As always, you can come by and we’ll do free inspections and check-outs for you. We’ll make sure everything is running smoothly!
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