Ready For Winter
When the thermostat drops, we start wearing coats to protect ourselves from the cold, but most people don't realize that their vehicles also need some extra protection during the winter. A few quick steps are all it takes to help your vehicle perform its best this winter.
"The thought of a breakdown, an engine not starting or otherwise being stranded is stressful as it is, but those things happening in freezing winter weather adds another level of threat," said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council, an automotive consumer education group. "An investment of an hour or so to have your vehicle checked is all it takes to have peace of mind and help avoid the cost and stress of a breakdown during the harsh weather."
Battery Very cold temperatures will reduce a vehicle's battery power so it's important to keep the connections clean, tight and corrosion-free. If your vehicle's battery is more than three years old, it's wise to replace it.
Antifreeze The mixture of antifreeze (coolant) and water inside your vehicle's radiator is typically 50:50. Don't make the mistake of adding 100 percent antifreeze. Coolant should be flushed and refilled at least every two years in most vehicles.
Oil The Car Care Council recommends changing to low-viscosity oil in winter, as it will flow more easily between moving parts when cold. Drivers in sub-zero driving temperatures should drop their oil weight from 10-W30 to 5-W30 as thickened oil can make it hard to start the car.