No doubt about it, winter driving in cold climates presents challenges that warmer weather doesn’t. So here are a few things to pay attention to when it comes to your vehicle and winter.
Coolant levels. We think of coolant as anti-freeze in winter, but what that liquid in the radiator does is cool down your heat-generating engine. It’s important that your coolant doesn’t freeze in sub-freezing temperatures, so make sure you have your coolant levels checked and that you have the correct water/coolant mix. By the way, the “coolant” is also responsible for transferring heat from your engine to warm the cabin.
Windshield wipers and washer fluid. You have to be able to clear your windshield so you can see things in inclement weather. Make sure your windshield washer reservoir is filled with fluid that is designed to stay liquid in frigid weather and won’t freeze on contact with the glass. Special winter wiper blades can also help you see.
Tire pressure and tread. When the temperatures plummet, so does the air pressure in your tires. Make sure they are inflated properly to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. You also need enough tread, so have the depth checked to make sure it meets the manufacturer’s specifications as well as any local regulations.
Proper engine oil. You’ve probably seen those numbers on the side of engine oil containers but maybe didn’t know what they meant. The manufacturer has specified oil characteristics for your vehicle: the correct oil will protect your engine in cold conditions – using the wrong oil specifications can result in engine damage.
The Service Advisor at your NAPA AutoCare Center will be able to help suggest options for each of these four winter driving checklist items. The better prepared your vehicle is to deal with the snow and cold, the better your vehicle will run and the safer you and your family will be.
Mountain View Automotive
8650 Pearl Street
Thornton, Colorado 80229