Thursday, 08 June 2017 11:39

Tips for Winterizing Your Car... Even for the Desert Dweller

Even desert dwellers can run in to roadway trouble driving in mild Arizona valley winter weather. But, a few simple steps of prevention can lead to a long road of safe driving.

A visit to a trusted repair expert is the best way to check your car’s vitals. They will check your battery, radiator, fluids, hoses and brakes.

  • Battery
    Cold weather can reduce your battery’s power by about half of that in warmer weather. Be aware of hesitations in the car turning over and get it checked at the first sign. As a precaution, carry jumper cables in your car and have the number of roadside assistance handy.
  • Tires
    Check your tires, specifically the tire tread and wear. Minimum tread for adequate traction is 1/16”. {Tip} Turn a penny head down and stick it between your tire tread. If you can see Lincoln’s head fully, your tires likely need replacing.
  • Wipers
    Good visibility is key to safe driving. Streaks can leave you struggling to see out the windshield well. Look for cracking or detached rubber and replace. Keep the wiper reservoir filled with a solution that has anti-freeze agent. Water can freeze in the washer lines when the weather dips down.
  • Oil
    Use the right engine oil. It thickens when it gets cold so using thinner oil helps it move more easily through the engine. Most new cars use multi-weight oil that is suitable for varied temperatures. But make sure you’re using the manufacturer recommended grade.
  • Let the engine warm up
    Most new cars can be turned over and driven away. But, that doesn’t mean you should skip a warm-up. Allowing a short warm-up allows the oil a chance to head up and thin out and flow through the engine more smoothly.
  • If you head to Northern Arizona, be aware of weather reports. Watch speed and adjust to driving conditions. Avoid quick and sudden movements in driving to avoid sliding. When you brake, do it slowly and deliberately. Don’t slam the brakes. And if you find yourself in a skid, turn in the direction of the skid.

Follow these simple winter prep and prevention tips and you and your car should be safe to handle the chill of the next few months.

Bumper Audio Clip of the Week

Bumper to Bumper helps a listener who is having trouble passing emissions with their 2012 Nissan Pathfinder.