A Handy Checklist to Winterize Your Car
“The last thing any driver needs is a vehicle that breaks down in cold, harsh winter weather,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “A vehicle check before the temperatures drop is a sensible way to avoid the inconvenience of being stranded out in the cold and with the unexpected expense of emergency repairs.”
Imagine this. You are driving back home from work. Although the road is covered with heavy snow, you are very happy because the family is waiting for you to have dinner together. Suddenly the car stalls and you have no idea what’s going on. You are stuck in the harsh weather and have to pay a lot of money to get emergency repairs. To avoid the cost and hassle caused by this annoying situation, just have a look at this checklist and fulfill the procedure before the winter arrives. It will save you a lot of time and money in the future, and even lives.
□ Check the battery and charging system
Battery and charging system are very vulnerable in cold winter. If possible, get the most powerful battery that can fit your car. Remember that the battery will lose power when the temperature drops. The same battery which can start your car easily in summer will have a hard time in winter.
□ Clean and flush the cooling system
To welcome the cold winter, cleaning the flushing the cooling system should enjoy the priority on the checklist. You should know that that is different from a simple drain and refill. The difference lies in that you need to flush out sludge, rust, and dirt buildup and then push a new coolant mixture through the system. Besides the benefits of keeping the cooling system work well, this step also contributes a lot to the maintenance of the engine. How often should we clean and flush the cooling system? You are suggested to do it once a year. Or you can check the user manual’s recommendations.
□ Check wipers and wiper fluid
Visibility is highly important in winter. There is no excuse to skip the wipers checking. The average life cycle for a wiper blade is one year. If yours are very old, replace them with new one or you can get the specially designed winter wiper blades. Also it is a harsh time for wiper fluid in winter. Ensure your wiper fluid reservoir is full. In the bitter cold area, you’d better to get cold weather washer fluid to prevent from frozen fluid on your window.
□ Check the tire tread depth and tire pressure
As is known to all, traction is often at the minimum level in winter because of wet or snowy conditions. In this respect, tire pressure is very important. Plus, the air pressure in a cold tire will drop in winter’s lower temperatures since air is kind of gas which will contract when it cools. Keep in mind it’s critical to have properly inflated tires in winter. And if there is serious snow and ice problem in your area, it is a good idea to get special winter tires designed for slick roads.
□ Remember to check the exhaust system
Last but not least, make sure you have checked the exhaust system to prevent from carbon monoxide leaks. The leaks will lead to deadly danger since windows are always closed in cold weather driving.