Winter has arrived, maybe even a little early! Winter technically does not start until December 21st, but clearly in Virginia it arrived on December 9th with a snow storm producing 12-14″!
Here are a few tips to make sure your car is ready for the winter!
BATTERY – Winter months put a strain on your battery. In cold weather your battery has to use more
power to start than in the warmer months, which in turn makes the battery work harder than it should have too. If your battery is weak, and the car needs more power because of the frigid temperature this could result in a no start situation. It is also very important to maintain the components around your battery. A good battery service is always a good idea, this takes care of corrosion build up, making sure the cables, and post are in good shape and have a nice tight connection. Nobody wants to be stranded due to a dead battery, especially when it could have been avoided with general battery maintenance at Murray Automotive.
Tires- Winter tire air pressure….You CAN’T just set it, and forget it!!! In the winter this can feel like a losing battle, and this is because for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit the temperature drops your tires will lose about 1 pound PSI of pressure. The recommended pressure inside the door of the vehicle from the factory is COLD PSI! This is the amount the vehicle should have with the tires cold, not after they’ve been driven a few miles. It is critical to check your tire pressure in the winter months, after all Air is a gas which contracts as days get shorter and temperatures get colder! It is important to remember that the tires don’t really carry the weight of your vehicle…the air pressure inside them does. Maintaining the correct air pressure is a REQUIREMENT for good handling, traction and durability! Tire pressure is also critical in how your tires wear, low pressure and even too high of pressure will cause your tires to wear prematurely! Murray Automotive will be happy to assist with Tire pressure, and Checking out your tires to make sure everything is safe for you to be on the road in the winter and prevent being stranded or prematurely wearing out your tires!
Lighting – A HUGE hazard with fall and winter is the days are shorter, and the sun sets earlier, which in turn means there is less daylight! You want to make sure your lights are in good working order, and all of them are functioning! It’s very important to have bright, clean headlights to get the most light possible! Over time the material the headlights are made from will get foggy, cloudy, and yellow from the sun, road debris, etc. from oxidation and they need to be restored back to life (see previous blog for more details!). Murray Automotive can check your lights, replace any bulbs that may be out, and even perform the headlight restoration to bring your cloudy, foggy headlights back to life!
Coolant – Coolant, also known as anti-freeze is something very important to take care of before the winter, and extreme cold. Most importantly, you want to make sure your car is not low on coolant, and make sure there aren’t any leaks in the vehicle that will allow coolant to drain out. This is extremely important as this will keep your engine from freezing in cold weather! A lot of people will use water in their radiator instead of coolant, but when temperatures get cold, especially freezing temperatures, the water will freeze a lot quicker than coolant!
Gasoline and washer fluid- You’re probably wondering what in the world these two have in common! The answer is they both should stay FULL in the winter especially! Windshield washer fluid should stay full for the simple fact that being able to SEE is a huge SAFETY concern! Messy road debris from a snow storm, salt and sand on the road to prevent snow sticking, etc. will cause vision issues without being able to clean your windshield! Your gas tank is something that you want to keep full for several reasons! If you were to get stuck on the side of the road in a snow storm, at least with a full tank you can run your vehicle to stay warm! A full tank will also prevent any accumulated water in the gas tank from freezing inside of your fuel pump!
All of these items are EXTREMLEY important during the Winter season, and take no time to maintain all year long! Even if it’s something you were unaware that you should have been maintaining these items all year long, don’t worry it’s not too late to get started! Call Murray Automotive today to set up an appointment to make sure your vehicle is ready to take on winter!