The seasons are changing, and winter is upon us. This means that it’s time to pull those cool-weather layers out of the closet and bundle up. It also means it’s time to winterize your vehicle. Your car has dozens of moving parts, and cold weather can put many of those at risk. Fortunately, you can avoid cold-weather issues by paying particular attention to things like your battery, fluids, and more.
Here’s our complete guide:
5 Steps to Winterize Your Vehicle This Winter
Prepare for unseasonably cold Pensacola weather with the following steps:
1. Check Your Battery
Take your car to a local maintenance shop and have the techs evaluate your battery. They’ll hook it up to a testing machine to ensure it is charging well, that the terminals are clean, and that all connections are tight. They’ll also be able to change your battery if you happen to need a new one.
2. Check Your Tire Pressure
Cold weather and fluctuating temperatures can wreak havoc on your tire pressure. Specifically, cold weather can cause your tires to lose pressure, and that resulting low pressure puts you at risk of blowouts. Educate yourself about the ideal pressure range for your tires, and learn to check and adjust the tire pressure on your own.
3. Check Your Tire Tread
Another important tire metric is your tire tread. Tread is the grip on the bottom of your tires. If you have too little of it, your car can’t get a grip on wet or icy roads. Not sure if your tires have enough tread? Try this trick: take a penny and insert it into the tire groove, with Lincoln’s head upside down and facing you. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, it’s time to replace your tires.
4. Pack an Emergency Kit
While nobody wants to get stuck on the side of the road in a storm, it’s smart to prepare for the worst-case scenario. With this in mind, make a roadside emergency kit and keep it in your trunk. It should contain the following:
- Jumper cables
- A flashlight and extra batteries
- An emergency blanket, water, and non-perishable food
- Gloves and other cold-weather clothes
- Road flares
- A first-aid kit
- Any medicines or special items you may need
5. Have Your Oil and Fluids Changed
Before the temperatures dip for good, head to your local mechanic to have your oil, fluids (including your coolant), and filters changed.
Cold temperatures cause oil to thicken and can create problems in your engine unless everything is clean and fresh. This is also an excellent time for your mechanic to do a once-over on your vehicle and ensure everything in the engine is in good working order.
DeBroux: Winter-Ready Auto Maintenance in Pensacola and Beyond
Don’t winterize your car on your own – see our skilled team to ensure everything on your vehicle is cold-weather ready. We offer preventative maintenance services you need to hit the road safely, no matter what the weather looks like. Contact us today to learn more.