Throughout the winter, it’s important to take extra steps to take care of your vehicle and help it cope with the harsh demands of the cold.
Winter Car Care Tips
1. Plug in your vehicle. If you live in a climate where the temperature dips below -15 C, use your block heater. Plugging in your vehicle overnight keeps your engine warm so it has a better chance of starting in extreme cold.
2. Check your tire pressure. Your tire pressure decreases as temperatures drop, so it’s important to check your tire pressure regularly. Best practice is every time you fill up for gas, or at least monthly. Keeping your winter tires at the right pressure (noted on a sticker on your door jam, glove box or owner’s manual) improves your vehicle’s ability to grip ice and snow. Don’t forget to check the pressure in your spare tire as well.
3. Drive winter tires in good shape. Your winter tires need a good tread in order to have enough traction to help you brake and steer on snow and ice. To help keep yourself safe, check your tread pattern to see if your tires are worn. There are a few different methods you can use if you’re not sure how to check your tread depth, but make sure in the winter you’re replacing your tires when the tread reaches 4/32”.
4. Top up fuel levels. There are two critical reasons why you’ll want to keep your gas tank half full throughout the winter. The first, and most obvious, is that it would be horrible to run out of gas or get stranded in the middle of nowhere with an empty tank. The second, but just as important reason, is that condensation forms in your fuel tank, and in the winter, it can freeze unless you keep your tank at least half full.
5. Use winter fluids. You always want to have an extra bottle of windshield washer fluid in the truck for snowy, muddy driving, but you’ll want to make sure that bottle is winter-grade. With a winter-grade windshield washer fluid, your windshield stays clean so you can stick to the road.
6. Use winter-grade windshield wiper blades. Winter blades help you avoid the frustration of a streaky, iced up windshield caused by wiper blades chunked with ice. Regular blades freeze on pivot points, creating poor windshield contact. Winter blades, which have a rubber cover, keep your blade against the glass for a clear view.
Do you have any special tips or tricks to keep your vehicle performing at its best in the winter?