Car Winterizing: 3 Key Steps
Living in a harsh climate with extreme seasonal temperatures and weather conditions can do a number on a car. Winter, especially, with its biting cold, snow and ice, and general unpredictability, can wreak havoc on a vehicle. Owners and drivers should be prepared for the worst that Old Man Winter can throw at them. Winterizing a car, including an oil change in Longmont, CO, can do a lot to keep it running efficiently all season. Read on for more details and 3 key steps.
Winterizing in Longmont, CO: An Oil Change Can Keep a Car Running
1. Change the Engine Oil
Changing the oil to a thinner formula will help the engine run better in colder temperatures, especially if it’s below freezing. This is because thicker, more viscous engine oil will thicken further when the thermometer drops, which equals sluggish performance. Switching out the oil during a fall oil change will help the engine turn over better when the mercury plunges.
2. Use the Right Engine Coolant
Coolant helps protect vehicle engines from corrosion as well as overheating. Every vehicle requires a different ratio of engine coolant to water. In the winter, the right ratio needs to be attended to for optimal protection. This might be different from what is needed in the summer. Some vehicles might require a 60/40 or even a 70/30 ratio – car owners should check the manual or the manufacturer’s specifications, and they should never add coolant if they’re unsure of the correct ratio.
3. Check the Battery
A car battery’s “cranking power” is the total power the battery is able to use in order to start the engine, according to Cars Direct (also referred to as “cold cranking amps,” as the power is measured in amps, and the performance is determined at a temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit). In cold weather, the cranking power of a car battery is reduced. It doesn’t help that freezing temperatures thicken engine oil, which also contributes to how difficult it is for the engine to turn over. To prevent problems, car owners need to make sure their battery is in good working order before the cold weather hits.
Extra Winterizing Tips
There’s not much that’s worse than getting in a frozen car early in the morning, only to find that it won’t start. Car owners can circumvent problems like this by winterizing their cars for maximum performance in cold temperatures and harsh conditions.
Changing the oil to a winter grade formula, using a winter ratio of engine coolant to water, and double-checking that the battery is charged and in good shape are all excellent habits for winter driving prep. Other tips include investing in a set of snow tires, installing a fresh set of windshield wiper blades to help keep vision clear, and warming up the engine before driving. Even a brief amount of idle time can help the oil warm up so it flows better. Follow these tips to keep a vehicle dependable and ready to go even when the mercury plummets.