We’ve gotten out the jackets, checked the pilot light in the furnace, and stocked up the firewood. But, what have you done to get your car ready for the cold weather? Even though in the South we don’t deal with the toughest of winter conditions, now is a good time to take extra precautions to make sure your vehicles are prepared for cold weather.
First, your battery. Cold weather can take a toll on your battery. AAA advises us that “a car’s battery loses about 35 of its strength even at a mild 32 degrees Fahrenheit”. You don’t want to be stuck in freezing weather with a dead battery. Any qualified technician (found at your local dealer or most parts stores) can check the charge of your battery, and make sure your terminals are clean (free of corrosion).
Tire pressure will also vary greatly in colder weather. Check your tire pressure every few weeks. Low tire pressure can limit road control in bad weather, and reduce your gas mileage. Now may also be a time to check the tread of your tires, and have them rotated and aligned. You want to have complete control of your vehicle in an icy situation.
A news reporter from Florence, SC likened antifreeze to the “life blood of the system” of your car. How true. What keeps our vehicles from running hot in the summer also protects them from the cold temps of winter. While green antifreeze is intended for use on cars manufactured prior to 1996, and red intended for cars after 1996, gold is compatible with all makes and models. If you have questions, go by or call your local parts store. They can recommend the correct type, and brand.
One last tip, but this one is for the exterior of your vehicle. While ice scrapers are great for removing the morning’s frost from your windshield, never use them on the finish of your vehicle. We’ve had many unfortunate customers who made this mistake, and the result was not pretty on painted surfaces.
Although your schedule may be heating up for the holidays, take a little time out of your day to give your vehicle some TLC before you’re left out in the cold! Mechanical shops see an increase of customers this time of year, don’t let it be you.