Santa’s sleigh is right around the corner, and that means that your own vehicle might be over/due for vehicle maintenance.
Regular vehicle maintenance, driving more cautiously, checking your tire tread and air pressure, and keeping a winter emergency kit on board are essentials for arriving at your destination safely this holiday season.
Winterizing your vehicle might also prove the difference between making it to your destination hassle-free and getting stuck out in the snow.
Four Winterizing Checks for Your Vehicle
Before the 1980s and the Reagan years winterizing your vehicle for the winter was essential to preventing parts from falling apart – or outright falling into the road!
Modern cars are more resilient, but that doesn’t mean you should wave off vehicle maintenance. Below are some checks that the mechanics at All Around Auto Repair can quickly run on your vehicle during vehicle maintenance.
Check the Battery
The fact is that lower temperatures are still harder on your car’s battery, so having your battery checked when you get vehicle maintenance is key. The actual chemical reactions that create power in your car battery are more difficult in cold weather.
The problem can be a double whammy since cold weather can halve the amp-hour capacity of your battery. Coupled with that lower capacity, your vehicle actually requires more current to get started in frigid temperatures.
Coming in to All Around Auto Repair for vehicle maintenance, which includes a battery load test to determine the strength of your battery and whether you might need a replacement, is a good call any time of year but especially in the winter.
Check the Air Pressure
When you make your pit stop at All Around Auto Repair for vehicle maintenance you’ll likely get your tires rotated and wheel alignment to ensure even treadwear.
While your tire pressure will also be checked at vehicle maintenance, you should know that colder temperatures generally will affect your vehicle’s tire pressure.
Forewarned is forearmed in the sense that you might save yourself a lot of problems later by knowing that for every ten degrees of ambient temperature drop your tires could lose about one PSI, on average.
That means a thirty or forty degree drop could put your tires in the danger zone. Underinflated tires generally will suffer from problems like overheating and premature wear since you’re getting too much friction; the chance of tire failure also goes up with underinflated tires.
Underinflated tires in the winter can paradoxically increase your braking time and cause you to skid out on wet pavement, so making sure that your tire pressure matches the manufacturer’s recommendation is paramount.
Check Internal Belts and Hoses
A stretched timing belt can be impacted by cold weather and really tank engine performance. The fact is that both belts and hoses are impacted by a downturn in the weather.
Your vehicle’s belts and hoses are made from parts that respond to temperature; temperature changes can, in turn, affect the pressure and tension of belts and hoses, causing poor calibration or damage if left unchecked.
Check the Fluid Levels and Viscosity
Checking that the anti-freeze/water ratio of your radiator is evenly divided will prevent your coolant from freezing, but your engine also needs lubrication from oil to run properly and avoid overheating.
While cold weather outside might make for fun times sledding, those same frigid temps can thicken your oil and cause issues.
The reason that cold weather could spell problems for your engine is that oil gets thicker in cold weather and has a harder time circulating through your engine like it should. Oil that doesn’t circulate as easily could mean that your car will have a hard time getting started.
You might consider asking the mechanics at All Around Auto Repair about getting a thinner oil for the colder weather so that you don’t have any issues as the mercury drops.
A local mechanic will definitely know the right oil for your particular vehicle and driving conditions. Schedule an appointment today by calling (707) 837 – 0646 or clicking here for vehicle maintenance this winter.