Getting your car prepared for winterPeople that live in cold winter climates know all too well the wrath that mother nature can bring and the first thing they worry about is the safety of traveling in it. We get more requests to “check out my car” right before winter then at any other time. Even with modern cars, winter weather can still leave you and your car stranded.
Inspecting you Car For The Winter
Battery – Batteries are still the start of life to your car. Many battery failures we see happen without warning. The cold weather thickens the electrolyte in them and slows down the chemical reaction of electron flow between the internal plates. This can take a battery over the edge and not be able to start the car. Our recommendation is replace the battery after 5 years regardless of how it tests out.
Fuel Injectors, Fuel Filters, Spark Plugs, Wires – Cold weather affects fuel atomization (the size of the fuel droplets that need to ignite), so an engine needs all the help it can get. Worn spark plugs, dirty fuel injectors, dirty or clogged filters can all contribute to an engine that won’t start after sitting in 20 degree weather. We recommend engines have tune-ups done every 60,000 miles for optimal performance.
Tires – I think we all know how worn tire tread can cause a car to slide a lot more while starting or stopping and is UNSAFE. There is nothing more to be said with one exception. We do recommend sticking with name brand tires of mileage warranties of at least 50,000 miles.
Lighting and wipers – Nothing is more aggravating then driving in a snow storm and you can’t see the road clearly enough. It’s important to have good lighting not just for you but for the other driver. Burned out bulbs and headlight lenses that have become dull or yellow need to be fixed. Winter is a good time to get new wiper blades (we recommend contour shaped blades) and make sure the defrosters and washers are working properly.
Antifreeze, Oil, Brake Fluids – Last but not least, fluid condition. Extreme weather affects fluid properties. Antifreeze not set right can freeze and oil well over due for a change won’t flow properly and can damage an engine. Since snowfalls bring on 4WD usage, we always make it a point to check the transfer case and differential fluids. These are often overlooked as they don’t usually get used unless the 4WD is engaged. It is important to note there are many systems modern vehicle have that all play a role in your safety and comfort during extreme weather, cold or hot.
We recommend all vehicles get a winter inspection performed every year BEFORE the first cold snap occurs. We perform FREE winter inspections. All inspections include a 3 mile test drive and can be performed within 30 minutes. Call us to schedule your Schaumburg auto maintenance today at 847-524-AUTO(2886).