Your automobile is one of the most expensive purchases you will make, outside of your home. So, if you plan on keeping your car in top working order, winterizing your car each year is a must. The following tips will help you know what you need to do to winterize your car before the cold weather arrives.
Change your oil –Change the oil from 10W-30 during the summer to 5W-30 in the winter. If you’re not sure whether to change the oil, check your owner’s manual to see what the manufacturer recommends. Most vehicles call for an oil change every 3 months or 3,000 miles.
Check your antifreeze – Before the weather changes too much and the temperature drops too far, check the antifreeze in your cooling system to ensure that the ratio is around 60% coolant and 40% water. Check your owner’s manual or ask a local mechanic to find the correct mixture needed for your area's winter conditions.
Check the battery –Prior to winter, inspect the battery, cables, terminals, and fluid levels. Look for tight terminal connections and make sure the cables don’t have cracks or breaks. Check the level of water in the battery cells. If the water is below the cap, refill it with distilled water, but do this while the engine is off. Verify the age of your battery, if the battery is getting close to its expected life, go ahead and replace it.
Test the belts – Check all of the belts and hoses to ensure they’re not loose or cracked. A loose belt could be all that keeps you from your destination. A blown hose may also set your planned trip back.Check outpdplay.com to learn more about
Do you need snow tires? – If you live in an area that you’ll need snow tires, you have some options. All-season tires are available, as well as chains that you can purchase rather than having to replace all four tires. If you live in an area where there is a lot of snow, consider trading out your summer tires for snow tires. Just don’t forget to change them back in the spring.
Locks and keys – Make sure the lock system is working well. If you do get locked out, you can purchase a glycerine product to de-ice the locks. Keep a couple handy, just in case you find yourself locked out this winter.
Keep an emergency kit handy – While no one wants to ever find themselves in need of one, it’s a good idea to have an emergency kit in your vehicle at all times. The following items are good to keep in your car in case of an emergency: Flares, blankets, wind-up radio, wind-up flashlight, a change of clothes, a pair of heavy boots and gloves, and a box of non-perishable food and water.
If you take the time to winterize your car before you need to have it done, you’re going to be a step ahead of those who wait too long. You’ll be prepared in case your vehicle breaks down. Planning ahead and choosing to winterize your car at the end of the summer will help your car remain safe and reliable throughout the cold winter months.