Winter Maintenance Tips

Winter Maintenance Tips

Poor weather and plummeting temperatures can lead to increased car breakdowns. Winter is tough on your car and winter car maintenance is as important as post winter care. Here are some good winter car maintenance tips that will help your car make it through the rough weather ahead.

Check Heating System

The car heater can stop working due to various reasons. For example, a leak in the cooling system, low level of coolant in the radiator, non-working blower fan or a bad thermostat. During the winter, you will need a working heating system to keep the cabin warm. Get the heating system checked by a professional to ensure it’s working properly.

Check Wiper Blades

During winter, you need wiper blades in good condition to clear ice, snow and other dirt that accumulates on the windshield. Run the wiper blades to ensure the wiper blades do not miss any large expanses of the windshield. Check whether the squeegee rubber of the wiper blades is soft. If the wiper blades are deformed or have cracks, it’s time to replace the wiper blades.

Swap Regular Tires with Winter Tires

According to tire experts, using regular tires during the winter season increases the risk of accidents. The reason for this is that the tread rubber of regular tires becomes hard like a plastic ball in the colder season. The result is that the tires do not provide traction performance on roads covered with snow or ice. On the other hand, winter tires provide great traction even on icy roads. The result is increased responsiveness when driving on snow covered roads.

Ensure Battery is in Good Shape

Batteries are known to die in the winter season. The reason for this is corrosion accelerates during the summer season. A poorly maintained battery cannot survive the tough winter conditions. Hence, you need to get the battery checked from a professional. Check the battery for any corrosion or loose joints and get it repaired. Get the battery fully charged and make sure the battery can hold the charge for longer periods. If the battery is older than three years, consider getting a new car battery.

Maintain Tire Pressure

As the temperature plummets, the air pressure in the tires also falls. According to tire experts, the air pressure in tires is reduced by 1-2 pounds with every 10° drop in temperature. Driving the car on underinflated tires increases rolling resistance which hastens tread rubber wear. In that case, you will need early tire replacement which is an unnecessary expense. According to the experts, you should maintain 1-3 psi higher tire pressure than recommended during the winter season.

Check Engine Oil

Engine oil thickens at colder temperatures and becomes thicker. The result is that the engine does not have adequate lubrication during the startup of the engine. It adds stress on the starter to spin the engine to start your car. You need to use lower viscosity engine oil during the winter per the recommendation of the car manufacturer. Experts recommend car owners use 5W30 oil during the winter.

Don’t take winter car maintenance lightly or else you could end up stranded on the road with a car breakdown. Follow these winter maintenance tips to give your car the care that it needs.