Three Important Cold Weather Car Care Tips

Posted on: 14 February 2018

Your car works hard to get you where you need to go no matter what the weather conditions are -- and you undoubtedly agree that going to work or school in the morning in freezing temperatures via a warm car is far more preferable than other means of transportation, such as walking or riding a bike, that leave you exposed to the cold. However, in order for your car to perform its best when seasonal temperatures plunge below freezing, it requires a certain standard of care. 

Following are three essential best practices for optimizes your car's performance when winter weather is a part of the picture. 

Check Your Tires

Good tires are one of the key components of safe winter driving. The air pressure of your tires should be at the optimal levels mentioned in your manual. You can purchase an inexpensive tire pressure gauge at your local auto supply store that you can use to ensure that your tires have the right amount of air in them. Most service stations provide free or low-cost air to customers. 

It's also important that your tires have enough tread on them. Tread refers to the grooves in the rubber, and it's important because without enough tread, your car can hydroplane on wet roads -- and when this happens, you lose all control over the vehicle. You can easily check your tread using a specialized tool designed to measure tread depth, or you can simply use a penny in a pinch by placing it in the tread groove with Lincoln's head down. If you can see the top of his head, you don't have adequate tread and need new tires ASAP.

Use Synthetic Motor Oil

Conventional oil becomes sluggish when seasonal temperatures dip below freezing, and this can make your car difficult or even impossible to start. Synthetic motor oil is formulated to work well in both low and high temperatures. It's great for cold temperatures because it remains thin enough to start circulating through your car's engine as soon as you turn on the engine key. 

Use Winter Weight Windshield Wiper Fluid

Many people believe that all windshield wiper fluid is the same, but this is not the case. Winter weight windshield wiper fluid is designed for use in cold weather and, unlike its summer weight counterpart, it won't freeze when it makes contact with your windshield. This can be easy for busy people to forget, so schedule a switch to winter weight windshield wiper fluid when you schedule your seasonal oil change to make sure it gets done.