There was a time when if you wanted your car to run in cold weather it was necessary to go through an elaborate ritual. Chain tires, specially weighted oils, tricks for keeping batteries warm (because older batteries had a tendency to freeze and crack if they got too cold) were all necessary to keep things running smooth. Luckily modern technology makes things a bit simpler, and Hyundai of Kennesaw is making it easier with a special Winter Weather readiness offer. Here are a few things you can do at home to keep your vehicle running smoothly all winter long.
Check Your Battery
Cold weather affects the chemical reaction that the battery uses to provide power. At 5 degrees Fahrenheit, a fully charged battery has only half its rated amp capacity. The cold weather also increases the amount of current your engine needs to start. Have your battery checked and replace if necessary.
Change Wiper Blades and Refill Wiper Fluid
You need to be able to see the road. It’s the first rule of driving. Ice and salt buildup on your windshield can greatly reduce your visibility. Working wiper blades and a steady supply of washer fluid are essential to keeping your windshield clean. If you live in really cold areas, you may want to have your washer fluid flushed and filled with the winter mix to withstand the low temperatures.
Consider Snow Tires
These tires are made of a softer rubber so they can retain flexibility in the cold; they also have special tread patters to increase traction. Snow tires aren’t magic though, they help prevent slippage, but won’t eliminate skidding all together
Check your Tire Pressure
Cold weather makes your tire pressure drop by 1 psi for every 10-degree reduction in temperature. So it’s important to keep your tires properly inflated. Properly inflated tires provide the best possible contact between your tire and the road.
Check Your Four Wheel Drive
Four-wheel drive can give you better traction, but only if it’s working properly. Have it checked to make sure the transfer case is working smoothly and all fluids are full.
Change the Oil to Adjust Viscosity
As it wears down, Oil gets thick. If oil gets too thick it won’t provide proper lubrication. Cold weather can also cause your oil to get too thick. Have your oil changed to a lower viscosity. Your owner’s manual should specify which one you need.
Check your Antifreeze Mixture
The mix of antifreeze and water in your radiator should be 50 / 50. This will prevent your coolant from freezing. You can pick up a cheap tester at any auto parts store
Winter maintenance is an important factor in keeping your vehicle on the road this winter. While there are a few things you can do to keep your car running in cold weather, mechanics can actually flush your systems and make sure everything is up to specifications.