The Mechanic’s Guide to Winterizing Your Vehicle: Essential Tips and Tricks
At Mos Auto Shop, your trusted mobile mechanic in Des Moines, Iowa, we understand that preparing your vehicle for the harsh winter months is crucial. Harsh cold, snow, and ice can take a toll on your car, so it’s essential to be proactive in winterizing your vehicle. In this article, we’ve compiled the top ten winterizing tips and tricks to keep your car running smoothly during the chilliest of seasons.
● Switch to Winter Tires: When the temperature drops, your regular tires can harden, resulting in decreased traction. Winter tires are designed to handle cold conditions, so consider switching to them for improved grip on icy roads.
● Check Your Battery: Cold weather can be tough on your battery. Have a professional test it to ensure it’s in good condition. A weak battery might leave you stranded on a frigid morning.
● Top Up Your Antifreeze and make sure to have a good windshield ice scraper. Ensure to follow the instructions for your vehicle and check if your coolant requires mixing water with it. This will prevent your radiator from freezing and keep your engine running at the right temperature. Need a radiator flush or service in Des Moines? Give us a call. We’ll even do it at your convenient location.
● Inspect Your Wipers and Washer Fluid: Visibility is crucial during winter driving. Replace worn wiper blades and fill up your washer fluid with a winter-specific solution that won’t freeze.
● Have a Mechanic Check Your Heater and Defroster: Ensure your heater and defroster are working correctly. You don’t want to find out they’re malfunctioning on a freezing morning.
● Replace Air Filters: A clean air filter can improve your engine’s efficiency. In winter, when your engine needs to work harder, it’s even more important to replace or clean it.
● Inspect Your Brakes: Icy roads demand optimal braking performance. Have your brakes inspected and serviced to make sure they’re up to the task.
● Keep Your Gas Tank Full: This may seem obvious, but running out of gas while in a winter traffic jam will not be pleasant. In addition, keeping your tank full allows you to keep it running for warmth if you get stranded in a deserted area, like running off the road. If you have a breakdown in freezing temperatures, having enough gas may be a lifesaver.
● Check Your Lights: Winter days are shorter, and visibility is often reduced. Make sure all your lights are working correctly, so you can see and be seen.
Winterizing your vehicle is a small investment that can save you from costly repairs and the inconvenience of being stranded in the cold and may even save a life! At Mo’s Auto Shop, we’re here to help you with all your automotive needs, including repairs, maintenance and winterization. Contact us at 515-991-3870 for expert advice and assistance, and ensure your car is ready to face the challenges of winter head-on.
Remember, a little preparation goes a long way in keeping yourself and loved ones protected and your vehicle in top shape during the winter months. Stay safe out there on the Des Moines roads!
BONUS WINTER SURVIVAL TIPS FROM OUR FRIENDS AT Apocalypse Discussion
Creating a winter vehicle survival kit is essential to staying safe during cold and potentially hazardous conditions. Here are some important things to include in your vehicle winter survival kit:
- Blankets or Sleeping Bags. If you need to save on space, put them in vacuum sealed bags.
- Warm change of clothes, sweatpants, hoody, socks, hat and gloves and a war coat. Wet clothes can kill.
- High-energy snacks like energy bars, nuts, trail-mix, chocolate, etc.
- Always have several bottles of water in your vehicle. Keep them in large ziploc bags if you think they might explode when frozen.
- First Aid Kit with essential items like bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and any necessary medications.
- Flashlight with Extra Batteries. A reliable light source is crucial, especially during the long nights of winter.
- Jump box AND Jumper Cables. A decent jump box is smaller than a shoebox and is less than $100. Test it every month. Get the type with built in flashlight and USB ports for charging phones and flashlights.
- A collapsible snow shovel can help you dig your vehicle out of snowdrifts or clear a path.
- Strong ice scraper and snow brush.
- Tire Chains or Traction Mats to get your vehicle unstuck quickly or for traction on icy roads.
- Flares. If you are stuck in the road during low visibility, flares can help people find you or prevent a collision. Matches and a knife are great additions as well as a portable weather radio.
Remember to adapt your kit to your specific needs and the severity of winter in your area.