Car Winterizing Tips

Are you driving this holiday season to Bogus Basin, McCall, or into Idaho’s mountains this winter? If yes, then you’ll be traveling on Idaho’s frozen roads and away from service stations and support. 

The auto experts at Driven Automotive compiled several winterizing tips to ward off an emergency and keep you safe. You can do some of our tips yourself. Some of our suggestions may need an auto professional. No matter who does them, make sure your car is winter-ready.

 

Replace or Refill All Fluids

Mechanic Replacing Auto Fluids

Coolant – A 50/50 mixture of water and antifreeze is usually a good mix for temperatures above 32 degrees Fahrenheit. When the temperature drops below 32 degrees for long periods, mixtures closer to 70% antifreeze and 30% water may work better. Consult your owner’s manual for information on the proper mix for your vehicle.

Oil – Oil impurities can cause your car’s oil to be less effective in frigid climates. Consider changing your oil before winter to ensure your engine oil is clean for the best lubrication possible.

Wiper fluid – Top off your wiper fluid reservoir with winter-grade (freeze-resistant) de-icing wiper fluid to keep your windshield clean and your vision clear. Also, consider winter-grade windshield wipers, which have thicker rubber, to deflect heavy snow.

 

Inspect or Replace Your Tires

Low tire pressure is dangerous on slick roads. In winter, check your tire pressure weekly to ensure tire pressure is within the range recommended by the tire manufacturer. Investing in a tire gauge is an excellent idea. Cold weather can reduce your tire pressure by one psi for every 10 degrees colder, and the tire gauge at a gas station air pump may not be accurate. 

Consider Snow Tires

Consider snow tires if you’re traveling in snow and ice for long periods. A good set of snow tires can provide excellent winter traction. Ensure you change all four tires instead of just two as driving on both winter and summer tires at the same time can cause problems for your vehicle. Year-round tires are also a good option, especially if you only make occasional trips to the mountains.

Regardless, make sure your tires have adequate tread. The standard test to check tire tread is to take a penny and insert it in the tread grooves with Lincoln’s head facing down. Replace your tires if you can see the very top of Lincoln’s head.

 

Have Your Battery Tested

A good battery for winter driving is crucial, as cold temperatures can strain a weak battery and can cause it to fail. Replace your car battery every three to four years. While you can maintain a battery to last longer, older batteries are less efficient and less reliable. Age and hot summers can reduce the amount of water in your battery, and freezing temperatures can slow a battery’s chemical reactions.

If in doubt, change it out. Changing an old battery is far cheaper than getting a replacement during a trip. 

 

Check Your Belts

Cold weather can crack your car’s belts. Be sure to have your belts inspected before harsh winter weather comes. Then, periodically look for cracks.

Checking your car’s belts is especially important for your car’s alternator belt, which provides power to your car’s battery. Your car won’t work if your alternator belt breaks.

 

Need repair?

If your auto has issues, schedule an appointment today with Driven Automotive. We will make sure your vehicle is safe and ready for you to drive in any weather.