Fall has officially arrived. And Winter is just around the corner. In colder climates, winter is especially hard on our automobiles. The sub-freezing temperatures can cause badly mixed engine antifreeze to freeze and crack an engine, washer fluid to freeze up and leave a messy windshield, and reduce tire life by reducing tire pressure. So it’s best to get a jump on things before those temps arrive.
Here are a few short steps to ensure your auto is prepared for winter.
- Ensure your engine’s antifreeze mixture will protect against the lowest possible temperatures it may experience during the winter. Then subtract another 20 degrees just to make sure. There are different types of antifreeze for different engines. Always check your car’s manual, or with a car care professional, to ensure the right antifreeze and mixture are being used.
- Make it a point to exhaust your current windshield wiper fluid and refill it with something rated for extreme cold. Having working washers when they’re needed makes this process worth the hassle.
- Remember to periodically check your tire pressure as the days get progressively cooler. The dropping temperatures reduce tire inflation pressures; reducing tread life.
- If you own a diesel with a block heater, do a ‘pre-needed’ block heater check before it gets really cold to ensure it’s working.
- Check your tire treads for excessive wear. The penny test for 2/32 of an inch was to place a penny, head-first, into the tire tread. The tread would come to the top of Lincoln’s head. In my opinion, this isn’t enough tread for winter. It should be at least double this. So it’s best to check now to determine if you’ll need a new set of tires before bad weather arrives.
- Of course, it’s a good time to review your auto’s emergency preparations. To see a checklist of supplies which should be kept on hand, see my previous post at https://www.stepsfortoday.com/home-organization/emergency-prep-for-the-car/.
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And remember to take the next step…