Come winters, and you start getting the jitters. You not only get concerned about your skin or clothes in the extreme cold weather, but also about how your car is going to take the below freezing experience. It is not that your car feels the cold shudders, but the below normal temperature does affect some of its internal parts. You may use the anti-frost cold cream, fur jackets, and snow boots to tackle the snow problem for yourself, but what can you do to make you car also withstand the same problems?
The only solution is to winterize your car by way of systematic checking, substituting, or adding some important ingredients and accessories. Here is the list of things to do, in order of priority, which are needed to winterize your car.
Internal Care of the Car in Winter
Change of Engine Oil: The engine is the heart of the vehicle, and oil is comparable to blood as in our body. The difference is that you need to manually change the oil in the car after sometime. Due to its inherent property, the oil gets thick as it gets cold, which then cannot lubricate the engine well. Thus, for extreme winters one should switch to thinner or less viscous oil, such as 5W-30.
Reconstituting Engine Coolant: The car coolant saves not only the engine from overheating, but also protects it against corrosion. In extreme winters, one should use the coolant with ethylene glycol as the antifreeze element, and mix it with water in the ratio as suggested in the vehicle’s manual. Generally, it is in the ratio of 60% coolant to 40% water.
Rejuvenating the Battery: Check if the battery is due to be replaced. Otherwise, follow the simple procedure of cleaning the battery terminal ends, and add distilled water in the battery. Do have the battery checked for its ability to hold a charge.
Checking the Belts and Hoses: You need to perform a full inspection to make sure there is no wear and tear in the belts and hoses, as the cold temperatures make them brittle and weak.
External Care of the Car in Winter
Dependency of Tires: Check the air pressure in the tires with a tire gauge, because the pressure lowers with the drop in temperature due to the contraction of air. Make sure the tires are in good condition, and if your travel is majorly trekking through snow, think of switching to snow tires for improved traction.
Enhancing Visibility: Replace the windshield wiper blades, if it had not been, in about a year. Fill up the windshield washer reservoir with the antifreeze windshield washer fluid, as plain water freezes in extreme cold conditions. Check that the lights, heater, and defroster are in perfect working condition.
Completing Preparedness: Get the car properly tuned, and the brakes checked if not done recently. Try to keep the gas tank full to prevent moisture entering and freezing the gas lines. Don’t forget a ready spare tire, and the complete tire changing equipment.
Last, but not the least is the emergency winter kit in the trunk of your car, consisting of a blanket, ice scraper, snow shovel, gloves, glycerin tube, flares, flashlight, and a kitty litter. In addition, no harm in stuffing a complete survival kit of extra water, food, warm clothes, and boots.
A winterized car will make your trip more enjoyable, because you can now trust that the car will rough out in any cold extremes.