This morning, more than any morning so far this year, we were reminded of our favorite Game of Thrones catchphrase: Winter is coming. And you don’t need to be a fan of fantasy TV shows to feel its icy grip.
With the arrival of plunging temperatures, icy roads, and snowy mountain passes often comes car challenges. It doesn’t find everyone, but a dramatic change in temperature, moisture, and road conditions is a perfect recipe for vehicle-related difficulties cropping up. We see a real surge in repairs as spring turns into summer and as fall turns into winter, and with the help of Collision Center manager Frank Robles, we’ve compiled a handy list of items to check before the winds of winter are upon us.
- Check Your Fluids
Your car needs antifreeze. It prevents water from freezing, and it also raises the boiling point of your engine’s coolant, which prevents it from overheating. Winter is a good time to check your fluids anyway, but one popular practice makes this an essential step when winter-proofing your vehicle: many people add water to their antifreeze when it gets low.
Water has a different freezing point than antifreeze, and too-weak of a solution won’t adequately protect your engine. If you think keeping your antifreeze levels in line is expensive or inconvenient, imagine having a cracked engine block.
- Check Your Tires
It’s a sight we’ve grown to associate with the changing of the seasons: the blinking TPMS, or Tire Pressure Monitoring System, light greeting us from the dashboard.
Air pressure increases with heat and decreases with cold. That means that if your tires had the perfect amount of air in them when the temperature was pushing 80, you’ll need to top off your tires when the temperature is closer to freezing.
Additionally, check your tires’ tread to make sure they have the grip required to navigate slick, icy, and snowy roads. Winter tires are hugely beneficial when the weather gets hairy, but if new tires aren’t in the budget, consider putting the tires with the most tread remaining on the rear axle. Deeper-treaded tires help diminish the risk of hydroplaning.
- Check Your Heaters
As a rule, it’s better to find out that something isn’t working properly before you really, really need it. Before it’s cold enough to need your vehicle’s heater and defroster, make sure they’re both in working order. You will be happier getting your defroster fixed in August than you will in December.
There are many ways to get your vehicle ready for the winter, and these are a few of our favorites. For any of your winter weather automotive needs, feel free to drop by any of our four Butler Automotive locations. There isn’t a winter automotive woe we haven’t experienced, and we would love to help you stay safe and warm on the road!