Last week, we discussed the five things you should do before you store your prized vehicle away for the winter. However, we understand that storage may not always be an option for your mean machine, no matter how much you wish it to be so. The reality for many drivers is that their favorite car also happens to be their daily driver. If you find yourself in this situation, here are five ways that you can prepare your car for winter on the open road.
The oil in your engine serves one purpose: keep all moving parts properly lubricated so that they can move as freely as possible, thus keeping your engine in motion. When temperates begin to drop, your oil becomes more difficult to heat up. Less heat means that your oil may have a harder time adequately reaching every corner of your engine. As a result, you may want to consider decreasing the viscosity of your oil for the winter to promote the best coverage possible. For further details, check with your vehicle manufacturer for any oil recommendations pertaining to your specific model.
The tread on your tires physically connects your car to the road. The less tread you have available to touch the road, the less stable your vehicle will be. As a result, you should have the tread depth of your tires checked regularly to ensure you have enough rubber on the pavement to drive you safely through the winter. If your tread depths are at 5/32” or below, consider investing in a new set of tires. Also, if your car is particularly difficult to drive in ice and snow, you may want to consider investing in a set of snow tires. Remember, maximum tread depth promotes better stability to keep you and your vehicle safe, even through dicey road conditions.
If the tread on your tires is good, make sure you keep them properly aired up as the outside temperatures begin to drop. Low tire pressure can result in reduced stability and dangerous high-speed blowouts.
Just like your engine is responsible for keeping your car running, your battery is tasked with starting your engine and keeping the electronic components of your vehicle turned on, such as your stereo, lights, electronic steering, stability control, etc. As a result, you should always have your battery voltage checked before the temperatures dip. If your battery is more than 5-7 years old, or if the voltage falls below 9.6, you are advised to change your battery soon. All it takes is one particularly cold morning to kill your battery for good, leaving you stranded.
Coolant is possibly one of the most diverse components of your vehicle. It’s 50:50 mixture of antifreeze and distilled water help to keep your engine cool during the hot months and prevents freezing during the cold months. As a result, it is imperative that your coolant maintains a perfect 50:50 ratio to ensure that your engine is not harmed by the dropping temperatures this winter. If you are uncertain of your coolant ratio, your best option may be to have your coolant system flushed and replenished with a true 50:50 mixture.
No one wants to believe that his/her vehicle will leave him/her stranded with the closest help minutes to hours away. However, in the case of an unexpected accident or a complete engine failure, such a circumstance could come to fruition. As a result, you may want to keep some type of an emergency kit stored in the trunk of your vehicle; some of these items could even save your life.
Finally, don’t forget: If your vehicle storage needs change this winter, JP Logistics offers a premium quality climate-controlled facility, designed to keep your vehicle safe and sound until you’re ready to reclaim it. For more information, contact us by phone or email, or stop by at our headquarters.