As frigid temperatures start to settle in, we are reminded of the importance of taking care of our cars in these sometimes freezing conditions. As the new year approaches, you may make a resolution to lead a healthier lifestyle, it may be time to pledge your loyalty to your vehicle with routine maintenance and these need-to-know winter car care tips from Milex Complete Auto Care / Mr. Transmission of Cary.
Coolant is a mixture of antifreeze and water and is extremely important as it keeps your vehicle’s engine from freezing in cold temperatures and also protect the internal components of your cooling system by reducing corrosion. It is recommended that coolant be flushed and refilled every two years, but this may vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle. Be sure to check coolant levels and examine your engine for potential leaks early in the season. Remember, a 50/50 blend of antifreeze and water has a lower freezing point than full-strength antifreeze, making it safer during winter months.
Tire pressure is known to decrease with drops in temperature, which is why it is so important to break out the gauge and check your pressure frequently. Most vehicles have the recommended tire pressures front and rear on a sticker in the driver’s door jamb. Roughly one pound of pressure is lost per every 10-degree drop in temperature! At best, an under inflated tire can lead to poor gas mileage. At worst, it may cause a tire blowout and contribute to an accident.
Gasoline and Oil
Keep your gas tanks at least half full during the winter months, as it prevents water from freezing inside your fuel pump and is generally a good idea in case of emergencies. Cold temperatures can make motor oil thicker and move more slowly. This can create unwanted friction between parts in the engine. Consider using a lighter grade of oil in the winter months if you live in a cold climate. Change your vehicle’s oil and filter every 3,000 to 5,000 miles and use the recommended oil viscosity range for these chilly winter months.
Winter weather sure does pack a punch when it comes to your car’s battery, especially if your vehicle is parked outside. Whenever you can, park your vehicle under a covered carport or in a garage to protect it from the elements. Winter temperatures cause a car’s electrical system to work harder, particularly with the increased power demands of heating systems, defrosters and windshield wipers. Dirt, corrosion and debris on the connections can cause your battery to work harder, so keep an eye out and ensure things are tidy under the hood. We recommend having your battery checked or replaced if it is approaching the end of its life (about two to three years) before winter strikes.
As we hit the peak of winter’s ice-cold temperatures, be sure to follow these important car care tips and remember to visit the experts at Milex Complete Auto Care / Mr. Transmission of Cary to handle anything winter weather may throw your way!