Winter’s Coming – Is Your Car Ready?
December 2nd, 2015
The leaves are turning, there’s a snap in the air, the days are getting shorter and you know that winter is going to be here before you know it. Is your car ready? At Joe’s Tires in New Martinsville, WV, we’d like to suggest a few auto repair services to get taken care of before the cold temperatures really set in…
- Tires: Check your tires for proper tread depth and overall condition. You might know about the old penny test…stick a penny into the tread grooves, Lincoln’s head down. Does the tread reach Abe’s hair? Then your tires are at 2/32”, which is minimum tread depth. If it reaches Washington’s head when you do the same test with a quarter, your tread is at 4/32”. If you try the penny again and it comes up to the Lincoln Memorial, your tread is at 6/32”. Did you know that tires lose a pound of air pressure for every ten-degree drop in temperature? Check your inflation levels while the tires are cold…proper inflation is just as important in cold weather.
- Coolant: Your car’s coolant, a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water, protects the engine in cold weather as well as hot. Have the coolant checked for scale, corrosion and contaminants. If you haven’t had a cooling system flush performed for a couple of years, now’s the time to do it. A robust cooling system means that your heater and defroster will perform better as well.
- Battery: Cold weather is especially tough on batteries. The chemical reaction between lead and acid in the cells slows down at cold temperatures – at about 20 degrees Fahrenheit, your battery can deliver about half its normal cranking power. What’s more, motor oil thickens in the cold, making it harder for the starter to turn the engine over. Have your battery checked and make certain that your battery posts, cables and clamps are free from deposits of corrosion.
- Tune-Up: While a tune-up isn’t as involved as it was at one time, it’s still a good idea to have an oil change, fresh air filter and cabin filter and engine diagnostics done before the cold weather comes. If your vehicle is equipped with coil-on-plug ignition, you may consider having the coil packs checked as well. A failing coil pack can make a vehicle run rough and erratic.
- Wipers: Even good-quality wipers are only good for about a year. They’re not expensive to replace and can make a big difference in your safety and visibility. If your wipers are dried out, cracked or are starting to shed strips or chunks of rubber, go ahead and change them. Make sure that your windshield washer reservoir stays topped-off with winter-grade fluid. A fresh application of Rain-X to all your car’s glass surfaces can also be a huge help.
- Little Things: Lubricate all your door, hood and trunk hinges. Spray cooking oil on your door and trunk seals to keep them flexible in cold weather and prevent them from freezing. Dip your car key in Vaseline, insert it into the door lock and work it back and forth several times to keep it lubricated into the winter months (de-icers are also available, specifically for door locks). Don’t let your gas tank get below the ¼ mark – the condensation in the tank can freeze and ice up your fuel line. Add a bottle of de-icer with every fill-up. Apply a coat or two of wax before winter to protect your car’s body and finish from corrosion and to help it shed salt and road chemicals more easily. Make sure all your lights are working properly; if your headlight lenses are cloudy and oxidized, now’s the time to apply some rubbing compound and a coat of wax to coax a few more candlepower out of them.
|Winter’s Coming – Is Your Car Ready? was written by Clarke Jamison of Joes Tires and Service|
Tags: auto repair, tires, battery repair, batteries, coolant, wipers, winter vehicle safety, vehicle safety, vehicle maintenance, vehicle safety, winter auto repair
Posted in: Auto Repair 101