WEATHERIZING YOUR VEHICLE

vehicles

Winter

Winter driving conditions can be hazardous due to factors such as snow and ice on the road. While it’s important that you are prepared for winter driving, it is also important that your car is up to the challenge.

Below are considerations before and during the winter season to make sure your car can handle winter road conditions:

  • Battery
    • Battery power decreases at low temperatures, if your battery is already having problems, your risk of breaking down increases.
  • Cooling system
    • Ask your technician what antifreeze should be used for your vehicle and the appropriate coolant-to-water ratio to prevent corrosion and potential freezing.
  • Brakes
    • While cold weather doesn’t necessarily hurt your brakes, a thorough inspection can ensure the best performance when driving in conditions such as snow and ice.
  • Belts, hoses, spark plugs, wires and cables
    • These can go bad at any time of year, but if they go bad during the winter, you could be stranded in a very cold place for a very long time.
  • Switch to winter tires
    • Winter tires use special compounds engineered to resist hardening in cold temperatures, providing better traction in ice, snow, slush, and even dry pavement.
  • Maintain tire pressure
    • Every 10° change in ambient temperature could mean a gain or loss of 1 PSI. This means you should check pressure more regularly during winter and refill your tires as needed.
  • Install winter wipers
    • These come equipped with rubber that keeps ice from collecting on the blades. Just be sure to remove them when spring rolls around.
  • Keep washer fluid full
    • Replace your windshield wiper fluid often. A single snowstorm can exhaust a large amount of this fluid, so refill the washer reservoir frequently with windshield wiper fluid formulated for winter conditions.·       
  • Always keep the gas tank at least half full.
    • A full tank reduces condensation, which can prevent gas line freeze ups. Not only that, but if you’re ever stranded, your engine may be the only thing to keep you warm until help arrives.
  • Keep your year window defroster in working order
    • Being unable to see behind you could create unsafe driving conditions. When winterizing your car, check your rear-window defroster before cold weather arrives to be sure it’s working properly.
  • Pack an emergency kit for your car. 

Summer

The summer season provides ideal weather for car trouble. Extreme heat can take a toll on your car’s most important systems. Ensuring you’re a little extra prepared this season can go a long way to protecting your car, yourself and your loved ones this summer.

Below are considerations before and during the summer to make sure your car can handle the season:

  • Test your AC
    • When higher temperatures hit, you’ll want a working AC system in your car.
  • Check your tires’ air pressure
    • Winter conditions may have done damage to your tires so be sure you inspect your tire pressure. It’s also a good idea to check the air pressure of your spare tire to ensure it will be a reliable alternative in cases of emergency.
  • Top off engine fluids
    • Seasonal weather shifts can often lead to low engine fluids as they tend to thin or even evaporate in warm temperatures. When summer comes around, you’ll want to top off your transmission fluid, power steering fluid, coolant and windshield wiper fluid.
  • Get your oil and filter changed
    • Oil lubricants keep your engine safe from wear and tear, and the oil filter helps remove contaminants from your car’s engine oil.  Your car’s air filters keep pollutants from coming in through the vents, which is critical during warmer months or seasons with high pollen counts.
  • Test your brakes
    • Coming off the harsh winter weather, it’s important to monitor your car’s brake performance. 
  • Replace windshield wipers
    • Make sure to check your windshield wipers’ effectiveness to remove anything that could minimize visibility. It’s a good idea to check or replace your windshield wipers at the end of each season. 
  • Rotate tires
    • You can extend the longevity of your tires simply by rotating them regularly. T Experts recommend rotating your tires every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. 
  • Park your car in the shade
    • On hot days, try to park your car in the shade whenever possible. Parking your car in a shaded spot not only keeps you cool but can keep your car cool and prolong its life.
  • Keep your engine cool
    • If your temperature gauge indicates high levels, this could mean your vehicle is overheating. If this happens, pull over and wait for your engine to cool down. As this is a serious problem, it’s best to contact your local mechanic right away to fix the problem.
  • Stay hydrated
    • Dehydration and heat exhaustion can impact your ability to drive, if possible, leave a few water bottles in a cool spot in your car so that you’ll always have water nearby.
  •  Pack an emergency kit for your car.