Winter is a rough season for your vehicle. Even if you don’t get inches of snow where you live, the cold temperatures can have a drastic impact. Make your winter travels less stressful by following these tips on how to winterize your vehicle.
#1. ENSURE THERE’S ENOUGH TREAD
Most states require a minimum tread depth of at least 2/32 of an inch. The idea of the penny test is to check whether you’ve hit the threshold. Here’s how it works:
Hold a penny with Lincoln’s head upside down and facing you.
Insert the penny into one of the grooves between the threads.
If his head disappears, the thread is still above 2/32”. If you can see his entire head, it’s time to replace your tire.
#2. SWITCH TO WINTER TIRES
While it’s possible to use all-season tires in winter, it’s recommended to install winter tires if you live in a place with extremely cold temperatures. All-season tires can succumb to low temperatures, causing the tire to harden and lose its ability to grip the road. Winter tires, made with resilient rubber compounds, are designed to stay flexible even in freezing temperatures.
#3. MAINTAIN TIRE PRESSURE
Every 10-degree drop in outdoor temperature could mean a loss of 1 pound per square inch (PSI), so regularly check the air pressure in each tire. A severely deflated tire could lead to an accident on a slippery road or a tire blowout. The recommended tire pressure is listed in the owner’s manual and on the vehicle’s doorjamb sticker.
#4. TEST THE BATTERY
Make sure to get your car battery checked. Within the battery, chemical reactions occur, which happen slower when the temperatures dip. So, the cold weather can make a dying battery fail even sooner.
#5. CHANGE THE OIL
Motor oil lubricates an engine’s moving parts and keeps them from overheating and rusting over time. During cold weather, the oil becomes thicker. This makes it harder to pump through the engine block and puts additional strain on the battery. It makes sense to use thinner oil this time of year.
Refer to your owner’s manual for:
- exact instructions on how to do an oil change.
- info on how much to pour in with each change.
- the type of oil that’s right for your vehicle.
#6. ADD PROPER COOLANT
Coolant is a fluid that runs through the engine to keep it within its correct operating temperature range. As the coolant circulates, it absorbs heat from the engine and is cooled as it passes through the radiator. Insufficient coolant may cause serious engine damage. Check the owner’s manual to know when it’s time to remove the old coolant and what type of coolant to use.
#7. MONITOR BRAKES
Think of the snow, ice, water, and slush you’ll have to drive over on the highway. Yet, no matter the time of year, car brakes should be in top condition. Have your vehicle serviced if you notice:
- deep metallic grinding and growling.
- squealing or screeching noises.
- the indicator light comes on.
#8. KEEP THE GAS TANK FULL
Keep that gas tank topped off or at least half full. This is more important in winter than in summer for the following reasons. A full tank reduces condensation, which can form in empty areas of the tank and lead to a frozen fuel line. Plus, if you’re ever stranded, the engine will keep you warm until help arrives.
BE PREPARED WITH HOME SERVICE OIL
Get ready for winter with Home Service Oil, your trusted supplier of oil, diesel fuels, and gasoline. Our professionally trained personnel make deliveries to commercial accounts, construction sites, homes, and farms. Place an order by calling 1-800-467-5044 or requesting a service today!