Keeping Your Automobile Running Smoothly in The Winter

Cars provide people with the freedom to get from place to place, but that only lasts as long as these vehicles are working well. As most car owners know, regular maintenance is required to keep a car running well and to extend its lifespan. Most car owners also understand that the kind of maintenance that a car requires may differ somewhat from season to season. Different weather conditions affect cars differently, and a car will not survive harsh weather conditions if it has not been properly maintained according to the needs of each season.

Winter weather can be particularly hard on cars and other vehicles. The sudden drop in temperatures can freeze water in the radiator and make it more difficult for oil to cycle through and keep everything in the engine well lubricated. Ice-covered roads create their own hazardous conditions. Without the proper tires to grip the road, the car may be run off the asphalt and end up in an accident. Many other problems can also result when cars are not properly maintained in the winter.

Fortunately, it is not difficult to keep a car well-maintained and safe to drive in the winter. Most of the basic maintenance work is easy to perform even for those without much of a background in car repair. The do-it-yourself nature of much of winter car care means that there is no excuse no to be acquainted with the things that can be done to preserve a car and keep drivers safe during the coldest months of the year. Being armed with this knowledge makes it much easier to maintain a car when the temperatures drop below freezing.

For example, many car problems can be averted if drivers make sure they use the proper winter fluids in their vehicles. Given that water will freeze when the temperature gets low enough, car owners should make sure that they have added antifreeze to their car each winter. Check the antifreeze levels and make sure they are sufficient because antifreeze keeps the water in car engines from freezing solid and cracking open the radiator or engine. Another fluid that one must pay attention to in the winter is the engine oil. Thin oil is better to use than thicker oil in the winter because the cold weather makes thicker engine oil stickier, so it doesn't move as well through the engine, thereby hampering winter driving performance.

Something else that drivers should check before and during the winter months is the car battery. Cold weather tends to shorten battery life, so making sure that the battery is fully charged and in good condition before the winter season begins will help keep cars from reaching a point where they will not start. Car owners should also look at the battery terminals and battery cables. Cracked cables and other such things will hinder battery performance. No one wants to be stuck out in the cold, and making sure the battery of the car is in good working order will help prevent one from getting stranded in a parking lot.

One final easy thing that car owners can do to maintain their vehicle during the winter months is to make sure that the windshield wipers and washer fluid are ready for the cold. Worn-down wiper blades are less effective in removing ice and snow, so car owners should consider installing new wipers before the cold weather hits. Car owners should also use a windshield washer fluid that has anti-freezing properties; otherwise, the cold weather will freeze the liquid, hampering visibility in the snow or potentially cause damage to the car. Replacing the wiper blades and washer fluid and making sure that the washer fluid reservoir is full are inexpensive procedures with a good payoff when it comes to being able to drive safely in the winter.


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