Before you hit any harsh winter conditions, have your vehicle serviced to prepare it for the challenges winter can pose. Our ASE Certified Technicians at Hillside Auto Repair can get you prepped and ready for the winter season! (Ask us how you can get one of our handy ice scrapers!)
Things that to check to prepare your vehicle:
Cooling system – It is recommended to maintain a ratio between 50/50 and 70/30 of antifreeze to water. Ask your technician what antifreeze should be used for your vehicle and the appropriate coolant-to-water ratio to prevent against corrosion and potential freezing. It’s incredibly important to use the proper coolant, especially in import vehicles!
Battery – Battery power decreases as the temperature drops, meaning that it takes more power to start your car in the winter. Our technicians can perform a battery test for you to ensure your vehicle is ready!
Tires- It’s possible to use all-season tires in winter conditions however, this won’t offer you the maximum performance you may need in your environment. One thing that could really save you in harsh midwestern winters is installing winter tires when winterizing your car. Winter tires use special compounds engineered to resist hardening in cold temperatures, and provides better traction in ice, snow or slushy spots.
Tire Pressure- Every 10° change in ambient temperature could mean a gain or loss of 1 PSI. This means you should check pressure more regularly during winter and refill your tires as needed. Appropriate pressure for your tires can be found on the tire placard in the driver’s side door jamb or in your vehicle owner’s manual. If you are ever concerned about your tire’s pressure being too low, stop in and let us check it in our warm dry shop!
Brakes– While cold weather doesn’t necessarily hurt your brakes, a thorough inspection can ensure the best performance when driving in winter conditions.
Belts, hoses, spark plugs, wires and cables – These can go bad at any time of year, but if they go bad during the winter, you could be stranded in a very cold place for a very long time.
Washer Fluid- A single snowstorm can exhaust a large amount of this fluid, so refill the washer reservoir frequently with windshield wiper fluid formulated for winter conditions.
Gas Tank – A full tank reduces condensation, which can prevent gas line freeze ups. Not only that, but if you’re ever stranded, your engine may be the only thing to keep you warm until help arrives.
Checking these items and getting your car winterized can keep you on the road and out of the cold!
We strongly suggest also creating a winter weather emergency kit. Before heading off on a trip, store common tools and supplies in your car in case of an emergency. Use this infographic below to know what to pack before heading out into the snow.