Preventive Maintenance for Winter
Yes, we certainly have fairly mild winters in Alabama, compared to much of the rest of the United States. That doesn’t mean, however, that cold weather won’t put stress on your car’s various systems. Here are some things to keep in mind for preparedness for cold weather, and some maintenance items you should make sure of before the snow flies:
Battery: The chemical reaction in an automotive battery slows down a lot in cold weather. At 35 degrees, your battery can store and deliver about half the current and amperage it can at 70 degrees. Battery maintenance for cold weather includes a load test to check its reserve cranking amperage, as well as a check of the serpentine belt and alternator and removing any corrosion from the posts and cable clamps.
Oil change: if you ever considered a switch to synthetic motor oil, winter is a good time to do it. Synthetic motor oil is more stable at the molecular level – it won’t thin out in hot weather, and won’t thicken and become viscous at cold temperatures. This is especially important at startup, when oil has to reach the engine’s cam, bearings, and valve train quickly. Thinner oil also means less stress on the starter and electrical system as they crank the engine.
Cooling system: Your coolant, a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and distilled water, needs to be flushed at regular intervals to prevent buildups of scale and corrosion. Remember that the heater core is part of the cooling system, and fresh coolant can mean a more effective heater and defroster.
Tires: All-season tires may do fine in wet weather, but they don’t offer much traction in snow. You should at the very least make sure your all-season tires have plenty of tread and are in good condition going into the winter months.
Don’t find yourself stuck someplace on some cold morning, with a car that won’t start! Make an appointment with us at Road-Mart Inc. and let’s make sure your vehicle’s ready for the cold months ahead. Why take chances? Road-Mart Inc. can get you prepared for the toughest winter travel!