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Sunday, July 12, 2020

5 Important Cold Weather Car Tips​

Replace Parts that Are Tempurature-Sensitive (e.g. Battery, Belts) Before Winter

The battery and the belts are both sensitive to colder temperatures. When your battery is about 5 years old, it’s time to replace it. At that age, if it’s getting cold, you are likely to end up with less power than you need to start your engine. This is because the colder it gets, the weaker the battery becomes.

Cold weather can cause wear in fan belts and serpentine belts. Cracks can develop, indicating it may be time to replace the belt. If you’ve been using the same belt for 60,000 miles or more, you should have it replaced. This suggestion becomes more important when the winter is approaching. Also, have your belt checked if you hear any squealing, whining or chirping sounds from your engine.

Other parts that are sensitive to cold include hoses, wipers and door seals. You can spray your seals with silicone lubricant to protect them and keep them from sticking to your doors.

Check Tire Pressure at First Freeze

You car probably has a sensor that will detect low tire pressure and indicate it on your dashboard. It’s almost a sure thing that you’ll run into a low-pressure situation within the first few weeks of the cold-weather season. Check your pressure around this time, periodically, especially if you’re not sure that the car’s sensors are working.

Check Antifreeze Levels Regularly

Antifreeze protects your car by preventing coolant from freezing in the winter. Lack of antifreeze can cause irreparable engine damage in the worst of circumstances. As you’d expect, making sure you have antifreeze in your engine all of the time will prolong the life of your car.

Carry an Emergency Shovel or Other Tools

If you’re used to travelling in cold climates, you probably carry some tools around in case you get stuck in snow or ice. Some carry a shovel, to simply remove the snow. Other use coarse material such as cat litter or gravel to give their tires traction. Some carry ice-melting substances in their vehicles. It’s up to you but make sure you have something to help your vehicle get traction when you’re stuck.

Buy Snow Tires

Snow tires are more effective than anything else when the goal is to safely drive, start and stop in snowy or icy conditions. If you know you’ll be in those conditions this winter, you should think about getting snow tires. You can keep your normal tires for the spring. Just ask your tire shop to put them in your trunk. Ask the same thing for the winter tires, when you replace them with your normal tires. They’ll balance the new tires for you, which requires some fairly complicated technology. It’s not easy to do by yourself but it’s not too expensive to have it done at a shop.

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