Now that we’re in the thick of winter, it’s probably a good idea to keep a close eye on your car as temperatures continue to dip, especially if you live in the northern part of the country. While many of the tips below may seem like common sense, we’ve seen far too many cars stranded on the side of the road (on in driveways) when temperatures dip below freezing and the snowstorms come rolling in.
Below, we’ve shared a list of winter tips, courtesy of the Moran Family of Brands, one of the nation’s leading franchises of transmission and general automotive repairs.Remove corrosion from battery terminal connectors
Take Care of the Battery
- Winter weather causes the car’s electrical system to work harder and cold temperatures can reduce battery power by 50%. Be sure to check the battery cables and clamps for fraying or corrosion and keep track of the battery’s age. Most will last 3-5 years.
Monitor Your Fluids
- Keep antifreeze/coolant mix at the appropriate levels to keep fluids from freezing.
- Use a lighter grade oil in the winter months to prevent the oil from thickening in cold temperatures and causing unwanted friction in the engine.
- Keep the gas tank half full in the winter to decrease the chances of moisture from condensation freezing and blocking the flow of gas in the fuel lines.
Check Your Tires
- Winter temperatures cause the air in tires to contract and drop in pressure, so be sure to keep your tires properly inflated. You can find the suggested pounds per square inch in your owner’s manual. Properly inflated tires can increase gas mileage by as much as three percent.
Clean Your Car to See the Road
- Make sure wiper blades are in proper working order and free of cracking and deteriorating.
- Clear all snow and ice from the windshield for proper visibility.
- Test defrosters and allow time for condensation to clear from the windshield.
Create a Winter Weather Kit
- Keep an emergency kit inside your vehicle that includes a flashlight, jumper cables, cell phone charger, ice scraper, snow brush, blanket, bottled water, and snacks.
- Keep a supply of salt, sand or cat litter in the trunk to spread on ice for better traction.
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