Cold weather auto maintenance is important for all vehicles from small compact vehicles all the way up to big rigs. Keeping older and newer cars going in the cold is tough, and winter driving conditions can make the task even trickier. When you perform some smart winter car maintenance, it helps keep your ride running smoothly and keeps you safer behind the wheel, reducing the risk of accidents and the resulting car insurance headache that they can cause. Check out some smart cold weather auto maintenance tips and keep your automobile in tip top shape.
Routine Car Maintenance
In the wintertime, there are certain things we should do just to make sure our cars are performing up to a high level all season long. Use an automobile loan calculator to carefully plan car maintenance expenses. Check the battery connections and make sure they are clean and free of corrosion. Inspect the charging system as a whole and keep it in good running order so cold weather starts won't be an issue. Make sure to have jumper cables ready if they are needed and also make certain that you know how to use them correctly. Inspect the heater and defroster as well as the wiper blades to be sure they work right so that you will always have a clear field of vision out the windshield.
Filters, Hoses, and Coolant
Make sure the filters are in good shape, including the oil, gas, and air filter. Check all the hoses and look for leaking or soft ones and replace them rather than take a chance. Check the level of coolant and make sure the thermostat works for the purpose of warming up the engine when you start it before hitting the road. You should probably go ahead and change your coolant at least every two years. The radiator cap should also be checked to make sure it is securely attached and that it is generally in good condition.
Make sure to stay on top of oil changes and abide by your car owner's manual for directions on how often to change it. In some newer cars engine oil life indicators do some of this for you. In the winter weather, using 10W30 or 5W30 oil helps protect the car from the harsh temperatures. Those who prefer synthetics will be glad to know that these oils are generally very good for use in all temperatures and protect all year long. If you have an older car that leaks or burns oil, check it every time you get gas at the very least and top it off, or every time you drive if it loses more than a quart per gas fill up. Non-owner car insurance can sometimes prevent engine problems in negligent used car cases.
Warming up Your Car
Warming up the motor and letting it idle a bit before engaging it is important. Lubrication needs to be circulated throughout the motor to ensure that it is fully protected. You don't have to let it sit in the driveway to warm it up, although some like to do that to get the heater blowing hot air and the cabin warm.
Winter Driving Safety
Just make sure to use extra caution when driving in the winter. Don't overdo it on your speeds and do not follow other vehicles too closely. Making sure to practice cold weather car maintenance is important for your safety, but so is the way you operate your vehicle once you get out on the roads and highways. With ice and other conditions always possible, extra caution is always urged. Take a little extra time to get to your destination by leaving earlier than you would in good weather can keep you from accidents and the car insurance claims that follow.