Winterizing your car is especially important in northern Utah where winter temps can be brutal. Your mother would never let you out in the cold without warm clothes so don’t let your car face the cold unprepared either. Below are a few tips for getting your vehicle ready for the coming winter months.
Use the Right Motor Oil for the Cold Weather
As the temperature drops, your vehicle’s motor oil needs to work less to cool the engine. If the oil is too thick, it will be unable to flow properly, which reduces its ability to keep the engine running smoothly. Before winter arrives in full force, have your car’s oil changed but switch to oil with lower viscosity than you run in the summer months. Your owner’s manual should recommend the correct weight of oil for cold weather driving but if not, consult with your auto repair shop for advice.
Winter Tire and Battery Tips for Your Car
Whether you switch to full-fledged snow tires or if you run all-weather tires year around, now is the time to give them some extra attention. Verify the pressure in each tire (including the spare!) as improper tire pressure can cause increased slipping on wet and icy roads. You may also want to throw a bag of salt or cat litter in your trunk in the event you get stuck. Cold weather can also cause your auto battery to fail so consider replacing it now if it’s old. Ensure that you have jumper cables in your car for the winter as well in the event of unexpected battery failure.
What’s the Difference between Antifreeze and Engine Coolant?
Basically, these are the same product that do double duty by keeping your car’s radiator water cool in the summer and preventing it from freezing in the winter. The ratio requirement of water to antifreeze depends on your vehicle and the recommendation of the manufacturer. Check your owner’s manual to determine exactly which type of coolant you need and how much water needs to be added for proper temperature regulation.
Other considerations for getting your car ready for the cold include winterizing your windshield wiper fluid and installing new wiper blades, checking the condition of your belts and hoses and making sure you have an ice scraper and the proper emergency supplies on board. If you’re not comfortable with doing your own vehicle winterizing, visit a trusted local automotive shop in your area for these services. In Sandy and Salt Lake City, Emission Time can help with oil changes, belts and hoses, and ensuring that your fluid levels are correct. Winterizing your vehicle is critical in Northern Utah so don’t wait until Old Man Winter comes knocking.