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How to Winterize Your Car


While winter is around the corner, it is vital for everyone car owner to know how to winterize your car. Sometimes, it is tough to drive in winter time because of the road conditions, weather, and unexpected things that will happen during cold months. It is essential to know the basic things you need to check and prepare the best for your car before entering winter. Car parts such as tires, gasoline, brake pads, and all the fluid in your engine system play an important role during the winter. If you have no idea of what to do to your car for cold day, check out the 10 most vital things to do to winterize your car in a proper way.

10 Tips to Winterize Your Car Correctly

These are the 10 most important things you need to do in order to winterize your car correctly without spending extra money.

1. Engine coolant

It is necessary to have the right mixture of 60% coolant and 40% water in your radiator before the weather gets too cold especially if you live where temperatures get below freezing, for e.g., Alaska. The water in your radiator may turn into ice if the ratio is not right. 80% water and 20% coolant is definitely a bad idea. Your car engine will not function properly with ice in the radiator. Double check your owner’s manual or check with your mechanics for the perfect coolant mixture.

2. Engine oil for the winter

According to DMV, it is recommended to use thinner and less viscous engine oil during the winter. For example, if you use 10W-30 for your car in the summer, you can consider switching over to 5W-30 before entering cold months. It is highly recommended to refer to your car owner’s manual or seek for further advice from your mechanic. See also: Car engine won’t start.

3. Measure tire tread and consider snow tires

If your car tires are bald, replace a set of new one. To measure the tire tread, use a penny to go through the tire tread. It is time to replace a new one if you can see the Lincoln’s head. On the other hand, you can consider buying snow tires with studs if you live off the beaten path. Snow tires are built to deal with snow, ice and sleet. It can improve your car’s traction.

4. Run a serious checking on belts and hoses

Send your car to a trusted workshop and have your mechanic to check all the belts and hoses under your car’s hood. Replace those hoses if you see a crack on them or if you see any leaking. Hoses are cheap but if they break while you are driving, tow car will be the only way to get home.

5. Check your battery, terminals and cables

Weak battery is often the number one reason a car won’t start. The capacity of a battery is reduced by the cold weather. Run a complete checking on your battery, terminals, cables, fluid for any cracks and breaks. Test your car battery with a car battery tester. Replace a new car battery if it is not in healthy condition. See also: how to test a car battery.
car battery

6. Brake pads

It is cool to see a car accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in a few seconds but it is also important to be able to stop a car from 60 to 0 mph. Check your brake pads and see if they need to be replaced. See also: how long do brake pads last.
brake pads

7. Replace your windshield wipers and washer fluid

It is tough to drive in the rain during winter time especially if you are on the road late at night. Visibility levels are definitely low and it is recommended to replace your wipers with silicon wipers if they are in bad conditions. Silicon wipers are stronger and they often last longer. Also, you are suggested to use washer fluid with an antifreeze solution.

8. Keep a set of emergency kit in your car

Anything can happen during winter because the weather is cold and the sky is always dark. The best way to combat with winter is to keep a set of emergency kit inside your car such as flashlights, hydraulic jack, wrench, spare tire, emergency warning triangle, extra bottles of engine oil, brake fluid, coolant, blankets, boots, bread or food as well as tools to change out a flat.

9. Always pump your fuel tank full

In our car maintenance guide, we often mentioned that low fuel level will lead to many problems. Fuel pump failure is just one to be mentioned. Cold weather can cause condensation to form on the walls of a near-empty gas tank, and soon water will drip down into the gas. As water is heavier than gasoline, it might travel into fuel lines and then all the way to your car engine. This will not burn the engine but it will burn your wallet.

10. Use antifreeze

Consider to put a right amount of antifreeze in your radiator. A 50:50 ratio is the ideal amount. Antifreeze can keep fluids from freezing at temperatures as low as -34 degrees Fahrenheit (-36.67 degrees Celsius). Pre-mixed Antifreeze is cheap and they are available almost everywhere including gas stations and some grocery stores.

That’s the top 10 things on how to winterize your car. Please leave a message with the comment features if you think something important is missed out.