Sure, it’s still only August. But if you’ve spent any amount of time as a resident of the Midwest, you know just how quickly winter sets in. Unfortunately, fall is not always a very long season here in Indiana, so it’s important for you to be ready for the cold weather to strike. Part of that means getting your vehicle ready to handle the winter weather.
This may seem a bit early, but it’s still good information to keep in mind, because the calendar will be turning toward November and December sooner than you think. Here are a few tips from a mechanic in New Palestine, IN to help you get your car winter ready:
- Change your oil: If you’re due for an oil change, then it’s especially important that you get it done before the winter months hit. Make sure you’ve checked in your vehicle’s owner’s manual to figure out the viscosity you should use in particularly cold temperatures. In most cases, vehicles will take a thinner oil in the winter. However, you may be able to get by with using the same type of oil all year long.
- Check your antifreeze: During warmer weather, you’ll generally keep a 50/50 ratio of coolant to water. As the weather gets colder, however, that ratio changes to being more like a 60/40 mixture.
- Wipers and fluid: You should replace your windshield wipers every six to 12 months or so, depending on how much wear and tear they sustain. When you do this, make sure you also check the level of wiper fluid you have in your vehicle. Before the snow and ice of winter, you’re going to want to make sure you’re set with fluid, and that you’ve got wipers that are in good condition and ready to clear away some snowflakes.
- Check the battery: When the weather gets cold, the engine needs more power from the battery to get started up, so it’s a good idea to make sure your battery is functioning well. First, make sure your battery has enough charge. Turn on your headlights before starting your engine, then turn on the engine. If the lights get brighter when you turn on the car, your battery might be starting to die. If you have a voltmeter. you can test the voltage yourself, or you can ask a mechanic to perform the test for you. This will also help you determine how much life your battery has left. There’s never a good time for a battery to die on you, but during the middle of an icy cold winter day is probably about as bad as it gets.
- Check the heater: Make sure your heater and defroster are in good condition. You’re going to want to stay comfortable while you’re behind the wheel—long-term exposure to extreme cold temperatures can be dangerous. A malfunctioning defroster can make your vehicle dangerous to operate due to a lack of visibility.
- Check your tires: Make sure your tires have plenty of tread left, that they’re in good condition and that they’re inflated to the proper levels. There are many accidents that occur in winter that could have been prevented had the driver checked their tires and made the proper corrections beforehand.
For more information about steps you can take to get your car ready for winter, contact an experienced mechanic in New Palestine, IN at Auto Air & Heating, Inc. today.
Categorised in: General Maintenance
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