Suspension System Secrets: Tips For Customization And Repair

3 Car Maintenance Tasks To Prepare Your Vehicle For Cold Weather

by Leon Payne

While it's never pleasant to be stranded due to a non-working vehicle, it's especially unpleasant when you're stuck waiting for help in frigid winter weather. To ensure your car is running its best this winter, here are some car maintenance tasks to add to your to-do list. 

1. Check the Condition of Your Battery

Colder temperatures are notoriously difficult on vehicle batteries. Your vehicle's battery will provide less cranking power in colder temperatures, making it essential for the battery to be in good condition. Start by removing the battery's cap and checking its fluid level. If it's less than the recommended level, add more water but make sure it's distilled. Then, check that the battery is fully charged. If the battery doesn't have a charge indicator, your mechanic or an auto part store can test the battery's charge for you. 

Should the battery's charge read too low, fixing it may be as simple as recharging it. Or, if the battery can't be recharged, you'll need to replace it. 

Additionally, confirm that your battery's terminals are free from any corrosion or dirt that might interfere with the battery's ability to power your vehicle. If they're dirty, you can clean them with a product specifically designed to clean automobile battery terminals. 

2. See If Your Vehicle Is Due for an Oil Change

While modern vehicles can go longer between oil changes than older vehicles, if your vehicle will need an oil change in the next couple of months, it's a smart idea to go ahead and change the oil before extreme winter temperatures arrive. When motor oil is exposed to cold weather, it thickens.

The thicker the oil, the more difficult it is for the oil to run through your engine. Your mechanic can change your oil and use one that's specifically designed for cold temperatures. This oil has a lower viscosity and will put less stress on your engine. 

3. Replace Tires with Low Tread

Even if your area doesn't see a lot of snow, you'll want to replace any tires that don't have sufficient tread. Tires with low tread can't properly grip the road even in dry conditions, putting your vehicle at a higher risk of spinning out. Replacing the tires can help you avoid an accident when the weather might be dangerously cold. 

Have your mechanic check that your tires are properly inflated. When the temperature drops, this can cause your tires to lose air, potentially putting them at an air pressure that's too low for your vehicle. A car maintenance service can provide additional information.