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Winterizing Your Vehicle
There are easy steps that you could do when winterizing your car.
• Tire Check
Roads are difficult during winter, if your tires are worn out then braking, acceleration and controlling the tires could be difficult. This could lead to car crashes. Get a new set of winter tires. They may not totally save you from crashes but it could help your car improve its traction on the slippery surfaces than your regular car tires.
Tire pressure is also important. Having the tires properly inflated would ensure that the tires are in contact with the road. Proper tire pressure would ensure that the tires would not be damaged by potholes.
• Engine oil
Engine oil depends on how hot or cold the engine is. The temperature surrounding the engine would have an impact on what kind of oil should be used for this kind of condition or climate. For example, during winter the temperature are much lower. You could need a kind of engine oil which has less viscosity. Different oils would have different viscosity or how thick or thin the oil is. A thick oil does not circulate properly especially if it is cold. However, be careful not to get something which is too thin. You could check the car’s manual to have an idea how thick or thin oil you would need for the winter.
• Check visibility
In any kind of weather, visibility is essential. But during winter, it is very important. Inspect the wipers and the wiper fluid to ensure that they are working properly. If your wipers date back to more than a year, then it is time for some replacement. Also check the wiper fluid. You do not want to run out of it while in the middle of the road and snow.
You would also like to check if all of your car’s lights are working. Aside from seeing okay from your car, you would also like your car to be seen perfectly by opposite traffic.
• Battery check
Cold weather would normally reduce your battery life by as much as 50%. Test your car batteries if they would be able to survive through the winter. If it is more than three years with you, then time to have it tested to see if there would be no problems.
Frozen locks are another problem. You could always buy some glycerine from hardware, auto part stores and even some discount stores. Glycerine can be used for de-icing. Keep a bottle handy in your garage and in your car compartment box.
• Check your coolants
Cold weather can cause car parts to become brittle and frail. Make sure that the cooling system gets checked every two years or unless specified by the vehicle manufacturer. You could check the car manual for that. This would help corrosion from building up in your cooling system. Coolants would require mixture of anti-freeze and water, depending on the temperature. Again, check your car manual for this information.
• Emergency kit
It pays to be careful and prepared. Think about storing important things in your trunk, aside from car tires and some tools. Be prepared. Have some blankets, boots, radio, extra engine oil and coolant and a flashlight may come in handy. Winterizing your car will not totally prevent any danger, being caught in snow storms or in snow banks would require you to be prepared.
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