Tips for Winter Car Care

A 2013 Nissan Altima out in the cold.

A 2013 Nissan Altima out in the cold.

It’s early, you are ready to head out the door for the day, and the only thing between you and your car is a wall of icy air clocking in at around 20 mph and 5° F. In this weather your car could have a hard time starting, and if it does start it could have a hard time getting down the road. If you’ve taken the proper precautions there should be no problem. If you haven’t you’re going to wish you had.

Winter can be a mean and unsympathetic season. But with the proper steps you and your car can be prepared. The following are a few precautionary measures that could help you get down the road with little trouble.

1. Check belts and hoses. When we drive our cars we often forget the little parts under the hood that keep the engine running. The cold air of Winter can put stress on the rubber hoses and belts that play an important role. Be sure to check these for any cracks or damage. If a belt were to break while driving there won’t be many options beyond a tow truck.

2. Check windshield wipers and washer fluid. Wipers and washer fluid are there to make seeing out of the windshield a lot easier. In Winter, driving without these can be nearly impossible. The salt and snow mixture that is constantly flying at your windshield can make things pretty foggy. To avoid this make sure your washer fluid is filled and your wiper blades are not frayed or damaged.

3. Be sure to warm up and defrost your car before driving.  The thick layer of ice that forms on your windshield  each morning can be problematic when it comes to driving. Before driving away make sure your windshield is completely clear of fog or ice. Also, it is difficult to concentrate on driving when you are shivering. So turn on your heater for a few minutes and let the car become warmer than it is outside.

4. Keep your fuel tank full. The constantly changing temperatures of Winter can wreak havoc on a gas tank left nearly empty. Water can condense on the inside walls of a gas tank and could drip down into the gas, eventually finding there way into your fuel lines. Since it is so cold outside this water could freeze, making your day worse than it needs to be.

5. Check your Antifreeze.  Antifreeze will keep your car from freezing when the temperature gets too cold and also keeps the engine from overheating. So make sure you have the right amount of Antifreeze so your engine stays anti-frozen.

6. Check your battery.  This is an important one because without the battery there is little hope of getting your car going. Check to make sure there is no corrosion or fraying on the cables and clamps. If it has been a while since you’ve had your battery changed look into getting it replaced. Cold weather makes your engine have to work harder which in turn puts more pressure on the battery.

7. Check your tire pressure.  When the air outside gets cold it causes the air pressure in your tire to decrease. So check your tire pressure and make sure it stays properly inflated.

8. And finally, Drive safely. 

With these tips your morning commute can get started without a hitch. So confidently walk out to your car with your head held high knowing that you’ll have no problem getting to work. Then quickly put your head back down because it’s still cold outside.

If you find your car does need service give us a call at 330-478-0281 or visit our website to schedule an appoint with our Service Department. Our Service Department at the Waikem Auto Family is always happy to help.

Anything we should add? Let us know in the comments below. 

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