As you probably know, it gets cold here in Philly and even colder in the surrounding areas! And all that time spent at freezing cold temperatures — not to mention the snow, ice, and rain — can really have an effect on your vehicle. Even modern cars that have much better protection against the cold than their more fragile ancestors will last longer if they’re protected throughout the winter months with some of these simple tips!
Check the battery
Your battery needs to work harder when it’s cold so it’s a good idea to make sure it’s working at full capacity before the cold weather really sets in. You’ll need to check the connection points for any corrosion, and if you have the equipment, check the battery is still running at the correct voltage. If you’re unsure, bring your vehicle down to JD’s Auto Repair for a full service.
Replace the wiper blades and wiper fluid
Wipers are there to keep you safe on the road, so it’s a good idea to keep them in good condition. If your wipers are looking worn, have any nicks, or are torn, it’s a good idea to change them. In addition, you should also ensure you change to antifreeze wiper fluid as this will help keep snow and sleet from sticking to your windscreen in really bad weather.
Change to snow tires
Depending on where you live, this may not be necessary, but if you live in a more rural area and regularly find yourself driving in heavy snow, you may want to consider changing to snow tires. These tires prevent slipping and are therefore much safer than other, all-season tires as they shorten the stopping distance even in adverse weather conditions.
Colder weather causes air pressure to drop, so your tires may actually seem slightly deflated in cooler weather. Ensure your tires are at the correct PSI, even if you checked them a while ago when the weather was warmer.
Antifreeze is important for keeping your vehicle running in cold weather. You should have a 50-50 mixture of antifreeze and water in the radiator of your vehicle. This ensures your radiator does not freeze and keeps your vehicle running.
Put together an emergency kit
You probably think it’ll never happen to you, but people do get stranded when the weather is really bad, and if you don’t have an emergency kit you’ll be in serious trouble. Pack some first aid materials, jumper cables, blankets, water, and calorie-dense food like granola bars. If you live in an area that gets heavy snow, pack a folding shovel just in case you find yourself needing to dig your car out.
Change the oil
Your oil should always be changed regularly, but the beginning of winter is a great time to change it as cold weather affects how well oil works in the car’s engine as it’s thicker when it’s cold outside. If you’re unsure about the viscosity of your car’s oil, bring it in and we’ll have a check to make sure it’s ready to go for the long winter ahead.
Winter can be tough, especially if there’s a freak cold snap or you get caught driving in a blizzard. But there are a few things you can do to ensure your vehicle stays running and more importantly, you stay safe. If you’d like to have professionals do a thorough check of your car, head down to JD’s Auto Repair and we’ll ensure you’re ready for the months ahead no matter what winter throws at you!