How to Get Your Car Ready for Cold Weather

How to Get Your Car Ready for Cold Weather

Cold weather is harsh on cars. If you don’t take precautionary care, you might end up stuck your car on the road during the winter season. Here are some easy to follow tips to get your car ready for cold weather.

Change Oil

It is one of the most important things you can do to get your vehicle ready for winter. The viscosity of the oil also changes in the winter. It won’t flow as well and does not provide enough lubrication to the engine until the engine runs for a brief period. Make sure you check the type of oil that is recommended by the car manufacturer. The information about recommended oil for colder season is given in the car’s manual. Find out the viscosity of the oil recommended for cold weather and get the oil changed before cold weather sets in. 

Check Water to Coolant Ratio

The recommended ratio of coolant/water during summer is 50:50. However, as the temperature drops, the coolant to water ratio should be 60:40 (60 percent coolant to 40 percent water). This will protect your engine from everything except extreme cold weather. If you live in an area with extreme cold weather, the recommended coolant to water ratio is 70:30. 

Check the Battery

When the temperatures drop, your engine needs more current to start. In that case, your battery needs to be in good condition to provide the required current to the engine. You need to check the battery and note any defects like leakage, rust and other signs of damage. 

Check if the battery has enough charge left. If the battery is completely discharged, seek a professional’s help to recharge the battery. You also need to check if the battery can hold a charge for long periods. Some batteries have a shorter life of only two to three years. If your battery is more than three years old, consider getting a new battery before cold weather arrives. 

Change Windshield Wipers and Washer Fluid

Regular washer fluid is of no use in cold weather. The water will turn into ice. It’s important to get washer fluid with an antifreeze solution. Similarly, check the condition of your windshield wipers. If you see any cracks or deformation, it’s time to get a new set of windshield wipers. 

Don’t ignore the importance of windshield wipers in cold weather. The lack of sunshine leads to lower visibility, and snowflakes can accumulate on the windshield, reducing the clarity further. Your car needs functional windshield wipers to drive safely in cold weather. 

Check Tires

All-season tires are not recommended for cold weather. The rubber of all-season tires starts hardening in sub-freezing temperatures and below 14 degrees, they act like a plastic ball rolling on snow with no traction performance. If you live in a region where temperatures drop below 14 degrees, you need to change to winter tires which are specifically made for cold weather and show. Winter tires are made of a special rubber composition which keeps the rubber soft even at temperatures below zero. 

Keeping your car in good condition keeps you and your family safe during winter travel. It also reduces the probability of minor problems causing a breakdown.