4 Ways to Make Your Car Winter Ready

January 3rd, 2020 by

scraping snow off of a cold windshield

Winter is associated with snowfall, the holidays, and a general joy in the air. However, winter also brings less than desirable driving conditions. With that in mind, our staff wanted to provide you with this checklist to protect your vehicle from the harsh weather ahead.

Check your battery

During the summer, the high heat takes a toll on your battery’s capacity to operate efficiently. This is worsened by the winter, as the chemical reactions needed to power your car slow down in frigid temperatures. Additionally, the low temperatures require your battery to generate more current to start the engine. 

Check your battery by running a load test to ensure it has enough power. Make sure to check for any cracks or leaks in your cables and battery terminals. You might also want to keep your battery attached to a trickle charger if you live in especially cold climates. As a general rule, you want to replace any battery that is more than three years old. 

Replace your antifreeze

Having fresh antifreeze is one of the most important steps you can take to guarantee smooth driving during winter weather. Its function is in the name: It protects your engine by preventing the liquid in its coolant system from freezing. 

Conduct an antifreeze test to determine the lowest temperature the engine is protected from freezing at. You’ll also want to check your engine’s coolant reservoir to ensure it’s filled to the proper level. It’s generally advised to replace antifreeze every two years. 

Inspect your tires

The last thing you want is to find yourself driving on slick roads without proper tire traction. If your tires’ treads don’t have proper traction, you’ll need a new set to stay safe on treacherous roadways. 

To see if you need a new set, turn a penny upside down and stick it in a groove between your tires’ treads. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, you need new tires. For those who live in especially harsh climates, consider getting a specialized set of snow tires. These tires are made from a softer rubber, which remains flexible in colder temperatures. 

Besides treads, every 10-degree drop in temperature brings a one pound decrease in tire pressure. With this in mind, make sure to also check your tire pressure regularly. 

Change your oil

The cold weather thickens the oil in your engine and makes proper lubrication more difficult, so make sure you have fresh oil to keep things running smoothly. This is also the perfect time of year to make the switch from conventional to synthetic oil, as synthetic oil flows freer in colder temperatures without requiring any warm up. 

Prep Your car for Winter Weather in Summit, NJ

Make sure you’re ready to handle any and all winter weather by bringing car vehicle in to be inspected or serviced by our staff at Douglas INFINITI in Summit, New Jersey.