There are several ways to maintain your car during freezing temperatures. When the temperature drops below freezing, it is important to ensure your car is in good working order. Here are some tips to help you maintain your car during these cold winter months.
1. Swap out Regular Tires for Winter Tires
When the temperatures are low, it’s best to swap out your regular tires for winter tires. These tires are specifically designed to stay flexible in low temperatures. They have a tread pattern better suited for frozen and snowy roads. Winter tires have rubber that is softer than other types of rubber, so they grip well in cold conditions.
2. Don’t Change the Oil
Many car owners like to change their oil during the winter months because it’s easier to remove frozen oil filters than frozen air filters, but there isn’t any reason to do this if you live in an area where there isn’t a lot of snow and ice. The cold weather does not affect the oil. It should be thicker in cold weather because it is designed to flow more slowly when the temperature drops.
3. Have Your Battery Checked
Even if your car starts easily in the cold, have your battery tested to ensure that it is still functioning properly and that there aren’t any cracks in the casing of the battery. A cracked battery can start leaking acid into your car’s engine compartment, which can be deadly for your engine, so you’ll want to replace a cracked battery before you let it get too cold out. Look for signs of corrosion on other electrical components, like tubing or wires.
4. Take Care of Your Cables
As the temperatures drop, you’ll want to be sure your cables are working properly to keep your engine running. Check all your hoses, belts, and wiring for any signs of freezing. If you live in an area that gets lots of snow, try to find an insulated container where you can keep some spare parts for the winter. Make sure that they’re dry, but do not store them in plastic bags or seals because these can easily release moisture enough to freeze.
5. Don’t Let Ice Thaw in Your Car
Make sure you clear any ice or snow from your car immediately. Allowing the ice to thaw and drip onto the carpet can stain your carpet and make it more likely to attract mold. It’s important not to let snow sit on your roof in cold weather because it can melt and run into your windows and rot them out, which is a major expense you’d like to avoid.
6. Check Your Fluids
Winter is a great time for cleaning out your car, so use it as an opportunity to check all of your fluid levels. Make sure you have plenty of windshield wiper fluid, antifreeze, engine oil, and transmission fluid. You may also want to check your coolant and brake fluid to ensure there isn’t any rust or corrosion.
7. Check Your Battery
If your car isn’t starting easily in the cold, it might be time to replace your battery. You can test your battery by touching the end of the positive and negative terminals together with a screwdriver. If they make a clicking noise, they’re still functioning properly. If you hear a fizzing noise, that means that the acid inside of it is leaking out, which is dangerous for your engine. If you’re unsure how to change the battery, you can always take your car to a mechanic.
8. Heated Driveway Crusher
Consider installing a heated driveway crusher if you have a parking area that is fairly protected from the elements. These devices are designed to melt snow, ice, and even slush with hot water and heating elements. You can buy these in different sizes, so you can choose one that suits your needs. They are also relatively inexpensive so you can invest in one for your home. Even in the coldest climates, crushers from companies like WarmlyYours heated driveway makes shoveling snow unnecessary.
9. Check Tire Pressure Weekly
When temperatures drop below freezing, you’ll want to ensure that there’s always enough air in the tires to create a cushion between the tire and the ground. Ensure you check your tires for proper inflation levels once a week. This is especially important if you live where it snows or has many icy conditions. Ensure your tire pressure is at least 10 pounds per square inch when the temperature is below freezing.
If you follow these tips, you should be able to keep your car running well, even during cold weather. You’ll want to change your oil and check your engine for rust or corrosion every month to ensure that you’re not allowing anything to damage your car. Regular maintenance will also help you fix problems before they worsen, saving you time and money.