Does Your Car Take Care of You in Brrrr Weather

February 10, 2015

Brrrr. It’s cold outside. You wear gloves, a winter coat, boots. What about your car? Have you done all you can to keep it running safely during the coldest of days?


  • Have you considered how to keep your car from freezing? Have you drained out the old antifreeze this year? Imagine all the sludge and dirt that can clog up the cooling system.


Are you using the right ratio of coolant to water? Using a 50-50 mix usually works well. A higher ratio, 70% antifreeze to 30% water, could be used if you anticipate the weather going down to -84 degrees. But, be careful, don’t ever use 100% antifreeze. It then becomes much less efficient in transferring heat from the engine and could melt spark plugs and cause other major problems.


Are you using the correct antifreeze? Most cars work well with the green-colored antifreeze. There’s also a newer, multicolored antifreeze which has a longer life, but it can only be used in newer model cars. Check with your manufacturer to determine which is best for your car.


  • Have you checked your battery, charging system and belts? Is the battery running at optimum charge? Remember, you need more power to start the engine in winter. And, that same battery that gave you the zoom power in summer, gives you less power in winter. In these cold, sub-zero temperatures, you should have the most powerful battery your car can handle.


  • Have you checked your tire pressure recently? Did you know that the tire pressure drops about one pound for every drop of ten degrees in temperature? Lower tire pressures can make it harder to handle your car, especially in these snow-covered streets.


  • Did you check hoses, belts, water pumps and spark plugs?


  • Are your windshield wipers in good working order? If not, replace them as soon as possible. And make sure you turn them off before you turn off the engine. If your wipers freeze on the windshield, you could burn out the wiper motor when starting the car again. While you’re at it, check to make sure your windshield wiper reservoir is full.


  • Do you fill your tank often during winter months? You don’t want to be left stranded with no gas in your car, and with no way to keep yourself warm.


  • Do you have a good snow brush and ice scraper?
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