There’s no doubt that winter weather is here, and it’s not going away any time soon. Not only can icy roads, snow, and sleet make driving treacherous, but cold temperatures can also cause other serious problems like low tire pressure and frozen fuel lines.
Taking the time to do some proper winter maintenance can keep you from running into expensive and potentially dangerous vehicle issues. Follow this checklist and you’ll be able to drive with confidence all winter long.
1. Switch to Winter Tires
If you haven’t done so already, you’ll want to swap your regular tires out for winter tires as soon as possible. Even if it’s not snowing, when temperatures frequently fall below 45 degrees, winter tires will give you much better traction on the cold pavement.
2. Monitor Your Tire Pressure
Low temperatures can also throw off your tire pressure. In fact, tires lose an average of one pound of pressure for every 10-degree temperature drop. Under-inflated tires cause traction issues and unnecessary wear and tear, so make sure to check the pressure frequently and add air when needed.
3. Protect Your Paint
You can protect the exterior of your car from road salt, snow, and sleet by thoroughly washing off the dirt and grime and applying a high-quality polymer wax. This will help ensure that your vehicle looks good as new when the warmer weather returns.
4. Change Your Oil
If it’s appropriate for your vehicle, switching your oil from regular to synthetic or a synthetic blend can help your engine better handle winter weather. Synthetics don’t require any time to warm up and they flow more freely at low temperatures.
5. Check the Antifreeze
As the name implies, antifreeze is one of the most important things your vehicle needs during the winter months. Without it, your vehicle could suffer from serious engine damage. It’s a good idea to have a professional check the strength of your antifreeze, top off the coolant, and possibly flush out the radiator if necessary.
6. Clean Your Fuel Injectors
When the temperatures drop, there’s also a chance that your vehicle can suffer from problems with the fuel system. Adding a high-quality fuel injector cleaner to your gas tank can fix this issue. Choose one specially designed for winter weather and there’s far less of a chance that you’ll end up with frozen fuel lines.
7. Protect Your Windshield Wipers
It’s a good idea to switch your regular windshield wipers out for special winter blades, which are designed to handle snow and ice. Also, adding deicing fluid to your windshield fluid tank will reduce wear and tear.
Even though winter blades are better for cold-weather conditions, it’s still recommended that you use an ice scraper rather than depending on your wipers to cut through windshield ice. When you have to park outdoors, you’ll also want to flip your wipers up so they don’t freeze to the windshield.
8. Check Your Headlight and Taillights
To ensure your safety while driving in nasty weather, you’ll want to check that all of your headlights and taillights are working properly. For extra visibility, deal with dim or yellow lights by cleaning your lenses and changing out your bulbs. It’s also a good idea to carry and extra set of bulbs in your car so you don’t get caught having to drive with a light out.
Battaglia Auto: Your Winter Maintenance Headquarters
Don’t feel like taking on these winter maintenance tasks yourself? No problem! The experts at Battaglia Auto will take care of everything and get you back on the road in no time. Check out our specials, then contact us today to schedule your vehicle maintenance appointment!