Friday, December 28, 2007
How to winterize your car
Get your wheels ready for cold and snow: A thorough winterization is no longer necessary -- but if you live where it snows, there are a few things you can do to prepare your car for winter.
• Check the coolant for the proper mix of antifreeze and water. You can have a mechanic do this or you can buy a tester at your local auto parts store.
• Check the oil recommendations in your car's owner manual. Some manufacturers recommend a different grade of oil that flows better in cold temperatures.
• Check the battery, specifically the level of electrolyte. If it's low, top it off with distilled water. (Note: Electrolyte can be nasty stuff; wear eye protection or have a mechanic check it for you).
• Buy a set of snow tires. They do a much better job than the all-weather tires fitted to most cars. If you've upgraded the wheels on your car, mounting the snows on the original wheels will make changing over much easier.
• Check your tire pressure. So, you didn't get those snows, huh? Well, at least make sure your tires are properly inflated to ensure you’ll have the best possible traction as you drive along — and traction is often severely jeopardized in wet, snowy or icy conditions. You can expect to lose 1 pound per square inch whenever the temperature drops by 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
• Replace your windshield wiper blades with snow blades.
• Examine your belts and hoses. Make sure the belts and hoses get checked for wear and tear — even if you’re driving a modern car. Cold weather wears belts and hoses, so they deserve attention.
• Get a snow brush and an ice scraper; leave them somewhere in the car.
• Run your car air conditioning (at least) once a month. (Running the A/C speeds up window defogging).
• Stock up on windshield washer fluid and top the washer tank off regularly. Be careful not to pour windshield washer fluid into the wrong tank!
• Prepare an emergency kit. Store this stuff in your trunk during the winter months, especially if a road trip is in your future:
A flashlight, flares and a first-aid kit.
Jumper cables, a tool kit and tire chains.
A blanket, warm clothes and gloves.
A bag of abrasive material, such as sand, salt or non-clumping kitty litter.
(Use this for added traction when a tire is stuck).
A snow brush, ice scraper and snow shovel.
Extra washer fluid.
Extra food and water.
Extra boots and gloves
How to winterize your car
Winterize Your Vehicle
10 simple ways to get your car ready for winter
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