Cold Weather Tips for Your Car

Cold Weather Tips for Your Car

In the past, I’ve had a bad habit of ignoring my car.  As long as it was getting me where I needed, everything was considered right.  It wasn’t until there was smoke wafting out from under my hood that I’d realize something was wrong.  Recognizing how much money I’d wasted simply by neglecting my car, I’ve since placed a greater importance on automobile maintenance.  A small investment into your car can save you a bundle of money and a lot of headaches – especially during the winter months.  There are a few things I do during this time every year to winterize my car.  Take a look, and see if you can apply any of these tips to your own set of wheels.

Check your defrost and heating system.  It is very easy for your windshield to fog up during the winter.  When your defroster is functioning properly, it blows warm air over the glass.  If your defroster is working but you’re still getting a foggy windshield, make sure your doors and windows are completely sealed.  Also, before it gets too cold out, you’ll want to ensure your heater is working. 

Have your battery checked.  Cold weather takes a toll on your battery and charging system.

Check your belts and hoses.  Even if you’re not due for a tune up, make sure the belts and hoses around your engine are stable.  Cold weather can weaken belts and hoses and you definitely don’t want those to break when you’re on the road in the winter.

Replace windshield wipers.  This one is always a must for me.  My old wipers seem to never do the trick when I’m trying to clear the season’s first snow or sleet off my windshield.  Rubber wipers wear down and crack rather easily.  I replace mine once a year.

Check your tire treads and pressure.  If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow, consider winter tires designed to grip a slippery road.  You should also check your tire pressure weekly.  Deflated tires decrease traction and enhance the chances of sliding on ice.  Don’t forget to check your spare tire as well.

Change your oil.  Winter weather can cause oil to thicken.  Your owner’s manual should tell you what type of oil to use during the winter. 

Keep your gas tank full.  Cold temperature can cause condensation to form in your gas tank.  If water drops drip into the gas, it can sink to your fuel lines and freeze – blocking the flow of gas to your engine. 

These are all practical tips that anybody can use.  They won’t necessarily bring you instant savings, but these tips can help you avoid the big hit to your wallet in the long run.  Do you have any tips for winterizing your car?  Let us know in the comments!

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