Whether you want to admit it or not, winter is almost here. For those of us in southeast Michigan that means we will soon be dealing with subzero temperatures and plenty of snow. We’ve given you lots of tips lately for driving in inclement weather and being prepared for traveling in the winter weather. But what about your car? Your car definitely runs differently when it is cold, and sometimes this can cause unexpected problems and challenges. Before the deep freeze is here, you should take some time to get your car ready for starting and running in the cold.
Test Your Battery
And, the charging system. Your battery and battery charging system is the first system in your car impacted by subzero temperatures. This is especially true if your battery is more than three years old. When we drive in the winter we use our heaters and lights more, so there is more drain on our car’s battery, which also puts more demand on your vehicle’s charging system. Before winter gets here, it is a good idea to make sure that your battery is up to par and that it is holding a decent charge. Checking your battery charge is simple and many mechanics and auto parts stores will check your charge for free. If your battery isn’t in the best condition, save yourself the roadside assistance charge and replace your battery, before it gets cold.
Get an Oil Change
The next thing that can really cause a lot of problems with your vehicle in the winter is not having the right engine oil or having old engine oil. Your vehicle manufacturer recommends a particular weight of oil that ensures the engine will perform at its best, in all conditions. If you are not putting the right weight of oil in your car, you may be setting yourself up for difficulties this winter. The same is true if you haven’t had an oil change in a while. Old engine oil can reduce your vehicle’s performance, especially when it’s cold out. A visit to Car Guys Auto Center in Fraser, MI is a great way to get a good oil change, using the correct oil for your car’s engine, as well as a fill up on all of the other important engine and vehicle fluids.
Use a Gasoline Additive
When you fill your gas tank in the winter, the gasoline you are buying has a particular amount of ethanol added. Ethanol, an alcohol, is added to gasoline to help soak up water that may sneak into your gas tank or into the storage tanks at the gas station. Water in your engine can cause big problems. With that said, there is nothing wrong with adding some extra gas additive to the tank. Gas additives can do a couple of things, depending on the product you buy. Some will help clean junk from your fuel injectors and others will dry up water in your gas tank. Both types are helpful in the winter for keeping your car running great.
Other Handy Tips
- Park in a garage if you can. Even just a few degrees warmer than the outside, your garage will protect your car from the elements and allow it to start easier when it’s cold.
- If you don’t have a garage, an engine block heater is a great investment.
- Check the level of other essential fluids such as antifreeze and windshield washer fluid.
- Replace your windshield wipers.
- Make sure that you have an emergency kit in your car, just in case.
Before winter really gets here and we are dealing with subzero temperatures, take the time to make sure your car is in good working condition. This will save you from being stranded where you don’t want to be, and give you a better chance of getting home safe and problem free.
I’m Looking for the Best Auto Repair Shop in Fraser!
Car Guys Auto Center in Fraser, MI is a great place to get your car ready for winter. Call us today at (586) 285-4444 and schedule an appointment to get all the winter essential car care needs checked off your list.