As the seasons change, motorists must take steps to safe guard their vehicles, especially when the season changes from fall to winter. Each winter, many vehicles are subjected to sub-zero temperatures, snowfall and icy roads, and such conditions can take a toll on vehicles over time. Taking steps to prepare vehicles for winter weather is a vital step that can make cars and trucks safer for drivers and their passengers.
Old batteries should be replaced before winter begins. Without a strong, properly functioning battery, engines cannot turnover. Most batteries last between three and five years. However, extreme cold can compromise batteries, especially those that have been around awhile. Batteries are made up of acid and water, and cold temperatures can freeze the water, thereby affecting battery performance. According to AAA’s Automotive Research Center, at 32 F, the average battery loses 35 percent of its strength.
Newer batteries can be protected by starting the vehicle each day to warm up and recharge the battery. Let the car run for at least 10 minutes if you cannot take an extended drive.
Keeping a car waxed and sealed can help maintain a durable exterior finish. This includes not only the paint, but the rubber and vinyl parts of the cars exterior.
Winter is a good time to switch to a heavy duty synthetic wax that can shield against water and road salts. High quality sealants can be used on bumpers, trim and rubber door seals as added protection.
Do not stop washing your car just because the weather is cold. Slushy wet roads and melting snow salts can speed up the formation of rust or other decay on the under carriage of the vehicle. These materials will need to be periodically cleaned off. Flush the underside of the vehicle whenever possible, taking advantage of any dry, slightly warmer days.
Vehicle tires can lose a pound of pressure for every 10-degree drop in temperature. Many modern cars will alert to changes in the air pressure, and drivers should be diligent in maintaining the proper tire pressure. Fuel economy as well as handling ability can decline when tires are not inflated properly. Visibility is key in hazardous weather conditions and keeping the windshield clean is a priority. This means ensuring that there is enough windshield wiper fluid in the car and that it is a product that will not freeze. A safety precaution for many people who live where conditions often include ice and snow and cold weather, winter tires can be lifesavers. These tires are designed using several different types of rubber and feature tread designs that maximize traction during inclement conditions. Winter tires also come in various subcategories. Studdable winter tires provide the extra security of added studs to enhance traction on ice. Performance winter tires offer better dry road handling, but traction on snow and ice may be compromised.
Check your mail box for special service offers from Jim Trenary Ford for the month of October. Call today to schedule your service appointments and get your vehicle ready for winter.