6 Winter Car Maintenance Tips

People living in colder climates know to be prepared for harsh winter conditions. While car accidents are always a possibility, there are few things you can do to make your car winter-ready. Snow and ice on the roads make driving more difficult and car maintenance even more essential during the winter months. Over time, regular car maintenance reduces car repairs and helps keep you safe. Here are some car maintenance tips that will help you stay safe no matter how cold it gets!

Tip #1

With car batteries, cold does not mean dead. Studies show that car batteries function the same in winter as they do during any other season. Cold weather can actually help car batteries last longer because it makes them work harder and use more power, which will wear down a car battery if it’s weaker than necessary to turn the car’s engine over. A car battery is only used for starting up your car; once your car is started, the alternator takes over and provides your car with energy. It maintains the battery rather than draining it.

Tip #2

Winter air contains greater quantities of humidity and water vapor; this means there is less room for oxygen molecules within those air pockets and consequently reduces octane rating by almost 2 octane numbers. This means car engines have to “work harder,” and car owners should use higher octane, winter-grade gasoline during the colder months.

Tip #3

If your car is particularly susceptible to cold starts, consider using an engine block heater. Heated car batteries are also available if your car’s battery succumbs easily in cold weather. Using a car cover for the entire vehicle works similarly to an engine block heater by preventing outside air from reaching the car’s body when it is parked outside overnight or for extended periods of time.

Tip #4

Have your car serviced by the auto shop before the beginning of each winter season, including car fluids (oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid), car battery voltage, and lights. Have the car inspected for any car trouble in winter months if you do not want to learn how to replace car filters at home or purchase a car cover. A car may also have its air filter checked during this time if the owner wishes to avoid experiencing car troubles due to a dirty/clogged air filter. Brakes are obviously also an essential part of your vehicle. It’s so important to get your brakes looked at regularly and get car brake repair done when wear has begun to show.

Tip #5

Clean your car thoroughly after the snow melts in the spring. Salt and other harsh elements of winter contribute to rusting, corroding, and deteriorating your car quickly. Remove salt residue from doors, windows, undercarriages, car batteries, car fluids (brake fluid reservoirs), shocks/struts, air intakes/filter housings, etc. Clean any areas where road salt may have been stored during winter months with a mixture of hot water and baking soda; be sure to wear rubber gloves when doing this.

Tip #6

Since most states do not require car manufacturers to include summer or all-season tires with their vehicle and most people go with what is included in the base car model they have purchased on financing or car loans. It’s important for car owners to check their car owner’s manual and review all the weather conditions a car is made to handle before determining which tires are best.

Follow these car maintenance tips and you’ll be ready for any winter conditions that come your way. In addition, if you need cool car accessories, you may browse online and compare prices so that you get the best for your money!