Cold temperatures, snowstorms, and icy roads have already begun in Minnesota and, as sad as it is to admit, it will only get worse. Winter can be a disaster for cars. However, there are steps you can take to winterize your car and make it as safe and reliable as possible for the coming months.
Everyone should have an emergency kit in their car over the winter. This kit should include items that can keep you warm, keep you hydrated, and items that may be able to get you out of your situation. Take a look at this article if you would like a more detailed list of items.
Check Your Engine
The cold weather can wreak havoc on the belts and tubes around your engine. Just like other materials, they can expand and contract in extreme weather. It’s a good idea to go to a mechanic to have them looked over to ensure the connections and your engine are in working order.
Keep Your Tank Full
If you let the gas in your car get too low, water can condensate on the sides of the gas tank. The water then will drip down into the gasoline when it thaws, and make its way into the fuel lines. Once it is there, it has a good chance of freezing meaning gas won’t be able to reach the engine. What this means is you’re stuck, and it’s going to cost you to have it fixed. The bottom line is to keep that gas tank full.
Check Your Oil
Cold temperatures can cause engine oil to become thicker. This can affect your engine’s performance. That’s why, during colder months, it is a good idea to change your oil and use oil that has a lower viscosity (thickness).
Check Your Battery
We’ve all seen two cars facing each other in a parking lot with their hoods up and cables attached to the batteries while it’s ten below zero outside. If you have never experienced it for yourself, you have to admit, it doesn’t look fun. Checking your battery before winter means checking the wires and clamps for frays and cleaning off any corrosion that may have formed. If you haven’t had your battery changed in the last three to five years (or longer), it may be time to consider a new battery.
Taking these steps not only ensures you will get from point A to point B but also keeps you safe. You don’t want to be stranded, but you definitely don’t want to be stranded and in danger. For more winter tips, check out our previous blog on winterizing your vehicle. Keep track of Kuehn Motors on Twitter and Facebook.