Winter Vehicle Maintenance You Should Know About

Keeping your car in good shape during the long, cold winter is easier than you might think. Following a few vehicle maintenance tips in Hartford, WI will help your car function properly, despite the sub-freezing temperatures, and will extend its overall lifespan. Most importantly, you’ll be less likely to get into an accident or find yourself stranded with a dead battery. Here are five tips to keep your vehicle running during the wintertime.

Get the right tires

Depending on how much snow you drive through each winter, you may want to invest in a set of winter tires. Winter tires are designed with special treads and rubber compounds to grip the road, even when it’s slick with ice or covered in snow.

If you only drive in the snow occasionally, your all-weather tires may be sufficient. However, it’s smart to keep a pair of chains in the trunk in the event that you get stuck in an unexpected Wisconsin snowstorm.

Finally, make sure you check your tires’ air pressure every few weeks. When it’s cold, the pressure can drop. That makes your vehicle more prone to accidents or blowouts.

Check your oil

Cold weather affects your oil’s viscosity, rendering it much thicker than in the spring, summer and fall. Your owner’s manual should include the manufacturer’s recommendation. If you can’t find it, use a motor oil with a “W” in the viscosity rating—that means that it’s meant for cold weather use.
While you’re changing the oil, check the radiator and heater hoses for cracks, leaks and brittleness. The rubber should be pliant, but cold weather can make it stiff and brittle, which means it’s more likely to be damaged.

Keep an eye on your battery

Have you ever had trouble starting your car when it’s cold outside? That’s because your battery power drops in cold temperatures. Get your battery checked every so often at an auto shop, service station or parts store. If your battery is older than five years, you may need to replace it entirely. In other cases, you might just need to top off the fluids.

Try to store your car in a garage whenever possible. You might consider improving the insulation in your garage, while you’re at it, as this will help protect against many winter-related vehicle issues.

Replace your wiper blades

Your wiper blades are made of rubber, which means, like radiator and heater hoses, they can also get brittle and hard in cold temperatures. Replace your wiper blades at the start of the season (in fact, every six months is a good rule of thumb).
Keep your windows clear

Finally, make sure you scrape all the ice and snow off your windows before starting out on a drive. Sit in your car and run the defroster for as long as it takes to clear your view. You may need to take your car in for heater and defroster maintenance.
For help with your winter vehicle maintenance in Hartford, WI, visit Pat Doll Automotive LLC today.