Getting Ready for Winter
Getting Ready for Winter
Advice from the Service Department at Pinckney Dodge Chrysler Jeep RAM
With winter on the horizon, it’s important to make sure your vehicle is prepared to take on cold weather and inclement conditions. Unfortunately, most car owners are surprised when the cold weather first hits and have to rush to get their vehicles winterized. This year, why not beat the winter weather with these handy tips! We have broken them down into two categories: things that a professional mechanic should do, and things that you, the car owner, can do.
Things to have a professional mechanic do:
Check the cooling system – The cooling system in your vehicle needs to be in tip-top shape before the cold weather settles in. At the very least, your mechanic should top off your coolant level with the proper anti-freeze for your vehicle. If the level in the tank is unusually low then he/she will look for a coolant leak and recommend repairing it.
Additionally, if you haven’t had a radiator flush performed for some time, this is a great opportunity to have it done. When you have your radiator flushed, you get the rust and other gunk that accumulates over time flushed out and nice fresh coolant added. When this is performed, your mechanic will also look over your system and see if any belts, hoses, or other components need to be replaced too.
Check the battery – Cold weather requires that your battery be in tip-top shape. This is because of two things: first, a cold engine requires a lot of power to turn over because the engine oil gets sluggish at low temps. Second, batteries contain chemicals that lose efficiency when they are cold and this means less cranking power. To avoid a car that won’t start on a cold morning, have your mechanic run a battery load test to see if your battery can provide enough power. When this procedure is performed, he/she will usually check the battery cables and terminals for any cracks and corrosion too.
Change your engine oil – Your engine needs lubricating oil to run but cold weather thickens engine oil and reduces its ability to circulate through the engine. Many manufacturers recommend using a thinner oil during the winter months. Your mechanic will know what grade of oil is best for the winter and can advise you accordingly.
Inspect your tires – Tires with worn treads are a serious hazard in winter conditions. If you have all-season tires, check to make sure the tread is at least 5/32” for the best winter traction.
Note: if you live in an area that experiences a lot of snowfall, consider getting snow tires. Snow tires are made of softer rubber that remains flexible in colder temperatures and they have treads specially designed to keep a grip going in snow and ice.
Things you, the car owner, can do:
Fill your wiper fluid reservoir – Winter driving is hard enough without having poor visibility. Make sure have enough wiper fluid on tap so you can clean your windshield of ice, snow, salt, and mud. Be sure you use a good brand of freeze-resistant wiper fluid which you can get at your local gas station or auto parts store.
Check your tire pressure – Make sure all five (the fifth is your spare) of your tires are properly inflated for winter conditions. Cold weather causes air pressure in your tires to drop at a rate of some 1 PSI per 10 degrees, so check your tire pressure regularly when it gets cold. Check your owner’s manual for the exact inflation pressure.
Replace your wiper blades – Make sure your wiper blades are up to the task. Most blades are only good for 6-12 months, so chances are you may need new ones. While you’re at it, you might want to consider choosing a set of heavy-duty winter wiper blades.
Assemble an emergency kit – Winter weather can take you by surprise and potentially put you in difficult dangerous situations. Be ready for the unexpected by equipping your car with emergency supplies including blankets, flares, a jack, a first-aid kit, flashlight, shovel, food, and sand for traction if you get stuck.
Trust Pinckney CDJR to get your vehicle all ready for the cold weather
The folks at Pinckney are winterization experts and would be glad to help you with getting ready for the cold weather.
Call and schedule an appointment with one of our knowledgeable and professional team members today.
We look forward to helping you!