Car Care Tips for Cold Weather

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As temperatures drop to near freezing levels, it is important to be mindful of how it affects your car. Cold weather can serious impact your car’s function, so taking the proper preventative measures can ensure your car runs efficiently. Here are some tips to make sure you’re prepared for those chilly mornings.

Check your battery

When the temperatures plummet, your car battery can take a serious toll. Colder temperatures affect the battery’s cranking power, with freezing temperatures cutting its ability by nearly 25%. To check your battery to ensure it’s running properly, remove the plastic caps on top and check the fluid level. You can find your battery’s optimal fluid levels by looking at your car manual. If the fluid is low, you can add distilled water. If the battery is a maintenance-free model, you can check its efficiency by looking at the top of the battery.

Check your oil

When it gets cold, motor oil will thicken, making it more difficult for the engine to turn over. You should be using a multi-viscosity oil, which typically has a “W” in the viscosity index. Optimal formulas recommended for engines include 5W-20, 5W-30, and 10W-30, all of which provide proper oil flow for both hot and cold temperatures.

Tire Pressure

It’s very important to keep track of your tire pressure as temperature get colder, as it can drop when the temperature drops. Driving around with low tire pressure can cause premature wear and tear on your tires. It can also cause your car to handle much less predictably, making for more dangerous driving conditions.

Ensure Visibility

In the early mornings, your windshield may become covered with a thin layer of ice, making it nearly impossible to see. Be sure to properly scrape off any ice with a proper scraper, and be sure to check your wiper blades to ensure they don’t have any tears.

Check Your Windshield for Cracks

If your windshield has any cracks in it, now might be the time to get them fixed. In colder weather, these cracks can grow wider, causing the windshield to spider web.

Check Your Cars Antifreeze

Use an antifreeze tester to draw a few drops of antifreeze from your radiator. This stuff is incredibly important during the winter, as it keeps the engine from freezing in cold temperatures. It’s recommended that your radiator maintain a mixture of 50/50 antifreeze and water, which will result in a lower engine freezing point.


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