Well, it is that time of year again when the calender says it's winter but the thermometer shows 69 degrees, but don't worry, it will be here soon enough. Most people assume that there vehicle is ready for severe climate changes...but is it?
The cold can be harsh on your vehicle; and hopefully, we can give a little guidance on things to check or have checked.
Is your vehicle elctrical system up to par? Does the battery have sufficient capacity to crank that engine over on the coldest of mornings? Are your battery cable connections corrosion free and tight? Fan belts at the proper tension. This is a great place to start because if these are not working properly your most likely not going anywhere soon.
How about your engines coolant/antifreeze protection? Is it good to at least 20 below zero protection point, is it clean? There are many different applications of coolant and the correct coolant is vital for your specific vehicle as it does more then just protect, it also lubricates and prevent elctralysis. But if the protection is low or the level is not correct you could have major problems with freezing or over heating, and lets not forget about your heating system as this is also affected by the coolant.
Ok the car starts and moves but can you see? are all of your lights operating for your benefit and others around you? Are the wipers working, clearing the front and rear windows? It never fails but your washers seem to be frozen just when you need them most, as the correct solvent mixture is crucial to winter climates.
Tire, Tires,Tires. It seems that the tire shops are the most busiest the day it snows, beat the rush have your tires checked frequently for good tread depth and proper inflation, that ounce of prevention-pound of cure things works very well here!
And dont forget your engines performance. Is it running correctly without any warning indicators, or noticeable driveability issues( stalling ,hesitations, poor fuel economy) ?, as the fuel companies change to a winter blend fuel mixture you may see a slight difference in the way the car performs but, this has been going on for quite a few years now, and most people see a slight drop in MPGs during the winter months.
These are just a few of the things we see neglected on a more frequent basis then we should but you can be proactive and hopefully not be the car on the side of the road waiting for help!
We provide these services to our customers at no charge, to help maintain their investment. If your not sure bring the vehicle by and will do it for you also.
I hope that these few tips can make your vehicle more reliable and hopefully more enjoyable to drive throught the winter months.