When we prep our homes to take on the onslaught of harsh winters, we often forget that our cars, second homes to many, also need to be winter-ready. As the temperature drops, road conditions change, and with ice, snow, slush, and rain, winterizing your car will ensure you travel smoothly through it all.
Read on to find our checklist for the top tips to winterize your car in New England.
No, this isn’t a winter-exclusive tip, but being exposed to winter elements can wear out your vehicle’s exterior. An automatic car wash helps clean the majority of gunk and buildup, while a detailed car clean will focus on getting to the undercarriage and other hard-to-reach areas.
We always recommend a mild car wash soap, water, and a microfiber wash cloth when you do it yourself. Spray off the insides of wheel wells, the suspension, and the exhaust. Pay special attention to clean clouded headlights with a headlight restoration kit.
Get A Protective Paint Job
Rain, hail, and ice chips can cause nasty dents and scratches on your car. You can prevent this from happening by getting a coat of spray wax. Better, bring your vehicle to Liberty Auto Body, and we will coat its bodywork with a paint protection film (PPF) that will guard against blemishes and scratches.
Check the Wiper Blades
Toss out brittle wipers for a pair of winter wipers. These come equipped to keep ice from collecting on the blades.
Tire Inspection is a Must
The tread on your tires will determine how much traction the vehicle has on slippery, winter roads. If possible, get a set of snow tires. Snow tires are meant to stay flexible in cold weather, and the particular tread pattern enhances traction.
Frequently check the air pressure in your car tires. Every 10° change in ambient temperature can imply a gain or loss of 1 PSI. So, it is best to check pressure more regularly during winter and get your tires refilled as needed.
Are the Batteries Working?
Car batteries often act up in cold weather, so staying on top of battery life is imperative if you don’t want to be stuck with a vehicle that refuses to start.
Visit us at Liberty Auto Body to install a 600 CCA battery for optimal winter performance.
Engine Oil Replacement Improves Car Performance
On cold days, the right oil is as essential to start an engine as is a powerful battery. Engine oil thickens at low temperatures, making it difficult to start. A lighter weight engine oil can provide good lubrication without straining the starter and battery.
The Right Coolant Makes a Difference
Coolant or antifreeze absorbs engine heat and dissipates it through the radiator. It cools the engine in the winter and summer, preventing overheating. However, driving a car with low antifreeze levels can lead to extensive, expensive damage to the engine. We recommend getting your vehicle into the service center to replace the coolant, as there are several types of coolants available and adding the wrong one can damage your car.
Fill Up on Gas!
Why is it important to have a full tank in winter more than in summer? For one, a filled tank reduces condensation, thereby preventing gas line freeze ups. Not only that, but if stranded, your car will keep you keep warm until help arrives.
Ensure Rear-Window Defroster does its Job
Being unable to see clearly while driving creates unsafe driving conditions. When winterizing your car, check that your rear-window defroster is working correctly.
Confirm Brakes are in Working Order
During winters, a car’s braking system takes a beating when faced with continuous snow, ice, water, and slush. Car owners experience common problems like, noises when the brakes are applied, brake pedal pulsating when brakes are applied, and anti-lock brake system not activating. So, head to a dealer or an automotive service center for repairs to get an expert to test your brakes before you hit the winter roads.
Lube Latches, Hinges, and Weather Stripping
Lubricating window tracks, door locks, and hood latches will protect you from being stuck in or out of your car. Your car service professional will make sure the suitable lubricant is applied to enhance your vehicle’s performance.
Contact Liberty Auto Body today to get a comprehensive winterization review & repair, and rest assured your car will support you through the cold days!