Car Maintenance Checklist for Winter. Check These Things!
Unless you live in forever sunny California, winter will bring a lot of complications for your automobile. We have an easy checklist for you to go through and save yourself from stress headaches ahead of the approaching chilly weather.
✓ Change Your Oil
An oil change is not always associated with winter vehicle maintenance; however, it can be an excellent time to switch to synthetic if you use conventional oil. Engines start with ease through a full-synthetic oil as it flows freely at lower temperatures and does not require any sort of warm-up.
This can provide significant protection immediately. If you don’t want to make a complete switch, you can also use a synthetic blend. This oil consists of synthetics coupled with conventional.
Your auto repair providers would best make this decision; make sure they are up-to-date with all the technology. An easy way to judge this is to determine whether the garage uses auto repair shop management software.
✓ Maintain Your Battery
Heat can mess up your batteries significantly. And this weakness will show up on the first cold morning when your car will refuse to start because of a dead battery.
This is the main reason why batteries almost always fail in winter. It is best to perform a test to determine charging strength and replace the battery if it is too weak.
If you live in an area that becomes freezing, then it would be a good idea to keep your battery attached to a trickle charger. Your battery is working way harder in cold weather, and it loses power over the time it is not being used.
✓ Inspect Your Tires
Grip and traction are other keys to making sure you are safe on the road. Take a look at your tires; immediately get a new set if they do not have enough depth. You will need the best grip to deal with snowy roads. The easiest way to check traction is by finding a penny, turning it upside down, and placing it between the treads. Since the minimum depth for safety is 3/32, it is time to get a new set if you can see Lincoln’s head even a little bit.
Additional precautions might be needed if you live in a snowy area. You may want to invest in snow tires. These are essential because tire pressure decreases by one pound for every 10-degree drop in air temperature.
If your tires are not completely inflated, they will wear down faster and cause unnecessary bills to come your way. Checking your inflation regularly is a very cheap but valuable investment. It costs only a penny, after all.
✓ Ensure Your Visibility
High-quality wipers on an icy windshield are one of winter’s essential tools. Just because being able to see where you are going is vital to not dying. Your first step is to ensure that all of your lights are working. If they are too dim or yellow, replace the bulbs or try to clean the lenses.
We also recommend replacing wipers with winter blades if you live in an area where it snows and hails. By filling your windshield washer tank with deicing fluid, getting rid of ice will become much more manageable.
✓ Check Your Antifreeze
The name contains the reason for its importance. It is an essential winter chemical because the liquid in an engine’s cooling system is made up of water and antifreeze. This antifreeze prevents water from freezing, expanding, and then destroying your engine. You can get an antifreeze tester or take your vehicle to the garage to find out the antifreeze’s strength.
This test indicates the lowest temperature that the water inside the engine can go to without freezing. It would also help get the coolant reservoir level checked to make sure it is filled to the proper level. Your mechanic will either top off your antifreeze or flush the radiator if it is time to replace it.
✓ Clean Your Fuel Injectors
Cold temperature can reduce performance efficiency related to a vehicle’s fuel system. By using a fuel injector cleaner, you can prevent this from occurring. Add the cleaner to the gas tank during a routine fill-up. This will clean up the injectors and help restore lost power by eliminating hard starts.
Water that may be trapped inside the fuel system can also become a problem during winter when temperatures drop below freezing temperature. It would help if you chose a cleaner that is also an antifreeze to prevent this.
✓ Inspect Your Radiator Cap and Thermostat
The radiator cap is a straightforward and cheap part that can critically mess up your healing and cooling system. The radiator cap keeps the antifreeze in your vehicle where it should be and raises the cooling system pressure level, which increases the boiling point of the cooling. A leaking radiator cap will overheat the engine and leak the antifreeze. Neither of these options is good for you or your wallet.
Winter driving demands that you look around your radiator cap more closely for signs of leaking fluid. To help with this particular problem, the vehicle radiator cap should be replaced if it is several years old and replaced with a newer model.
The five bucks you will pay for it will be well worth the performance you receive. And your peace of mind.
The thermostat is equally simple, inexpensive, and essential. It is the center point for your heating and cooling system; if it malfunctions, then you might find yourself without heat at all. This is because thermostats can fail when the coolant has not been changed, and corrosion occurs.
To make sure you stay safe on the roads during the upcoming winter season, go through this checklist and fix any problems that might pop up. Your wallet and future self will thank you.
To ensure your car is prepared for winter, go through our checklist and consult with a garage equipped with auto management software for quality assurance.