Prepare Your Car for Cold Weather
While Raleigh isn’t known for massive amounts of snowfall, the overnight temperatures in winter drop below freezing often enough that you should prepare your car for cold weather every year. If you travel west or north over the winter months, it’s even more important to ensure your car is prepared for the elements. From the professionals at Carfix in Raleigh and Garner in North Carolina, here are tips for making sure your vehicle is ready for cold weather.
Top Off Your Gas Tank
If there’s too much empty space in your gas tank, moisture can build up and potentially freeze, putting extra strain on your vehicle’s pump and other parts. Additionally, you want to have enough gas in your tank to keep your car running for a few hours to keep you warm if you get stuck, so fill up when you still have half a tank left.
Check the Battery
Did you know cold weather makes your car’s oil thicker? That makes your motor work harder and adds additional strain to your battery. Have your battery checked to make sure it isn’t running low before you find yourself stranded, and have it charged or replaced if necessary. It’s also a good idea to have a mechanic inspect the battery fluid and cables.
Replace Your Wiper Blades
If your wiper blades are leaving streaks just clearing rain from your windshield, you’ll have an extremely difficult time trying to see the road when those worn wiper blades are up against snow, mud, or road salt. Replace your wiper blades in the fall and check for damage periodically over the winter to look for damage caused by ice.
Rotate the Tires and Check Their Pressure
Cold weather reduces the pressure in your tires, giving you less traction and control over your vehicle as well as reducing your gas mileage. Check your tire pressure every time you gas up during the winter. You should also rotate your tires at least every 6 months or every other oil change.
Fix Your Heater
If you don’t drive far, putting up with a cold car may seem bearable, but what if something happens and you get stranded for a long time? Fix your heater – it could help save your life in frigid temperatures.
Check the Tire Tread
Having good tire tread is important year-round, but it’s even more important when you might encounter snow or ice. Before winter hits, place an upside-down penny between the treads. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, it’s time to replace your tires.
Change Your Fluids
Check and change all your fluids before cold weather hits. Switch to a winter washer fluid that won’t freeze when the temperature drops, top up your antifreeze, swap out your brake fluid, and get an oil change.
Consider Winter Tires
Even though they’re also known as snow tires, winter tires are designed to work better in cold weather than other tire types, even when the roads are dry. Winter tires are made from a special rubber compound that gives them better traction in freezing weather.
Get Your Brakes Checked
You should always make sure your brakes are in good condition, but it’s even more important before encountering snow, ice, or other conditions that make it harder to stop your vehicle. Additionally, moisture and road salt can create rust spots on your rotors.
Get Your Vehicle Inspected at Carfix
To really be sure your vehicle is ready for winter in Raleigh or Garner, make an appointment at Carfix to have us check it over and perform basic maintenance so you can feel comfortable that your vehicle is prepared. We have a 15-bay service center to get you in and out as quickly as possible, and we have a comfortable waiting room.