Winter Car Maintenance Tips
Winter Car Maintenance Tips
Should you warm up your car in the winter? We have these winter car maintenance answers and more here.
Here are our five quick tips on how to winterize your car.
1) Get Winter Tires!
What makes winter tires different than summer or all-season tires
is their rubber and tread pattern.
Both are designed to reducing your driving time as well as tension and stress on drivers by
giving them better performance and handling in cold-weather conditions.
(Note that we define cold-weather conditions as 45 degrees F and lower).
By having tire siping performed at a reputable tire center,
your tires will become better equipped to handle rainy and icy road conditions (through better traction).
Pro Tip #1: If you opt for snow tires, don’t try to save $ by buying only two.
Doing so will cause you to lose steering response on either the back or front side of your vehicle.
This is not something that you want. So, if you’re going to buy winter tires, make sure to get them for all four wheels.
2) Give Yourself More Time in The Morning
Just as important as any of our other winter car maintenance tips is this: the amount of time
you give yourself before leaving home each morning during the Seattle winter.
This is because you (and your fellow drivers out on the road) benefit from the extra time
you spend inspecting your car to ensure that it’s road-ready beforehand.
What do we mean by this?
- Checking the condition of your vehicle’s tires
- Running your front and rear window defroster until you have 100% visibility
- Wiping down driver and passenger windows to remove condensation for even greater visibility
- Checking that fluids are fresh
- Getting eyes on an emergency kit
3) Check Your Antifreeze
This one is simple. Checking your antifreeze in winter guards against it possibly freezing over and thus
causing you even bigger problems!
4) Buy New Windshield Wipers
What good is doing all of the tasks above if you can’t see out of your windshield?
If the wipers that are currently on your car are from last winter,
there’s a good chance that they are already in need of replacement.
Luckily, changing out your windshield wipers takes just minutes.
You also have the option of asking an automotive tech at a local parts store to do it for you.
5) Wait! Should you Warm-up Your Car in the Winter?
In all the cold-weather prepping, the good news is that there’s one less thing to do in the morning!
That’s because, when it comes to cold weather car maintenance, you no longer need to worry about allowing
enough time for your car to warm up.
This is because doing so may be bad for your vehicle’s engine.
How’s that for being counter intuitive?
Popular Mechanics even goes so far as to say that, “contrary to popular belief,
(letting your engine idle) does not prolong the life of your engine…
it decreases it by stripping oil away from the engine’s cylinders and pistons.”
A Quick Review
By leaving your home earlier, buying new windshield wipers, and
opting for either snow tires or tire siping, you’ll now be better prepared for driving in cold weather in Seattle.
And remember–skip the engine warm-up and check your antifreeze!