Cold temperatures, snow and ice wreak havoc on roads and vehicles. Yet according to the Car Care Council, more than percent of motorists admit they don’t prepare their cars for winter weather.
Car care experts at Moran Family of Brands, one of the nation’s leading franchises of transmission and general automotive repair, urge motorists to shape up their cars with 5 Winter Road Warrior Tips.
“If you don’t prepare your car for winter you can have breakdowns and accidents that could leave you stranded in miserable weather,” says Peter Baldine, president of Moran Family of Brands. “Take care of your car ahead of time and you will drive safely, get the best performance from your vehicle and avoid costly expenses.”
Take care of the battery:
- Winter temperatures cause a car’s electrical system to work harder, particularly with the increased power demands of heating systems, defrosters and windshield wipers.
- Plus, the cold temperatures reduce a vehicle’s battery power by up to 50 percent.
- A car battery typically lasts 3-5 years, so keep track of the battery’s age.
- Battery cables and clamps should also be checked regularly for fraying or corrosion. Battery acid corrosion appears as a white, powdery substance. Clean them with baking soda, water and a toothbrush.
Monitor Your Fluids:
- Antifreeze – Drivers will want to keep their antifreeze/coolant mix at the appropriate levels to prevent the engine from freezing and reduce corrosion. A 50/50 mix will keep fluids from freezing at temperatures as low as minus 34 degrees.
- Oil – Cold temperatures make motor oil thicker and creates unwanted friction in the engine. Consider using a lighter grade of oil in the winter months if you live in a cold climate. It’s best to check the fuel, air and transmission filters at the same time.
- Gas – Keep your gas tanks at least half full during the winter months. This will decrease the chances of moisture from condensation freezing and blocking the flow of gas in the fuel lines.
Check Your Tires:
- Winter temps cause the air in cold tires to contract and drop in pressure. Deflated tires will reduce the tread and the traction of the car, which can significantly increase the chances of sliding on icy patches.
- Read your owner’s manual for suggested pounds per square inch and fill up at a local gas station to prevent sliding on the ice.
- Having properly inflated tires will also save on gas mileage by as much as three percent.
Clear Your Car to See the Road:
Many people are in such a rush to get to their destination that they do not take the necessary time to clear the outside of their car and windshield.
- Make sure wiper blades are in proper working order and free of cracking or deteriorating, and also monitor the levels of wiper fluid.
- Clear all snow and ice from the windshield for proper visibility and from other parts of the car for the safety of other drivers.
- Test defrosters and allow time for condensation to clear from the entire windshield before heading out on the road.
Create a Winter Weather Kit:
- Car owners should keep an emergency kit inside their vehicle that includes a flashlight, jumper cables, cell phone charger, ice scrapper, snow brush, blanket, bottled water and dry food snacks.
- Keep a supply of salt, sand or kitty litter to spread on the ground to gain better traction on icy patches.
Moran Family of Brands provides specialty products and services across three automotive brands and a total of more than 120 franchise locations nationwide.
Automotive professionals at their Mr. Transmission stores can help prepare drivers for the winter season by repairing car transmissions and checking fluid levels and tire pressure.
Milex Complete Auto Care centers can provide a comprehensive selection of automotive repair and maintenance services to ensure cars are ready for winter months. Their services include oil changes, brake inspection, heating systems and steering suspension.
The Alta Mere brand offers a complete selection of high-tech retail accessories and installation options, including security systems, GPS tracking and audio and video systems. They specialize in remote car starters that enable motorists to warm up cars with the touch of a button in the winter without having to step outside. Alta Mere also offers winter weather kits as part of their customized line of products and accessories.
Alta Mere offers exterior services such paint protection which can protect cars from damage caused by salt added to the roads in winter. They also provide custom window tinting, which helps reduce the glare from snowfall accumulation during sunny days.