It’s that magical time of the year again. As winter approaches and temperatures decline, now is the time to undergo the laundry list of winter vehicle preps designed to fortify your car or truck’s cold weather defenses. North Carolina is not particularly known for its harsh winter climate, averaging only six-inches of snow per year. That doesn’t mean you should let you guard down and not actively take measures to protect your automobile.
The past couple of winters, snowfall has surged in the state, breaking records in the process. Winston-Salem alone received over 12.5-inches of snow, in just one day, more than double the annual average. Abnormally high levels of snow in recent winters along with NC’s typical, over 40-inches of rain annually exemplify the need to always be prepared. While Winston-Salem is no Antarctica in terms of freezing weather environments, winter temperature lows do hover in the freezing range.
The Following Five Essential Winter Vehicle Preps Will Likely Save Your Car Or Truck From Harsh Winter Weather Wreaking Havoc On It…
The last thing any motorist wants is to break down on a cold winter night. There’s nothing worse than facing mechanical problems because you didn’t take the time to properly winterize your automobile. That’s why proper winter preparation is crucial in maintaining your vehicle’s lifespan, performance and overall value. Here is a compilation of five winter vehicle preps that will keep your vehicle running longer and stronger this winter and beyond.
Winter Vehicle Preps All Drivers Should Adhere To:
Checking your car or truck’s battery is a good place to start when going through your yearly winter vehicle preps. Colder temperatures increase strain on most powertrain systems due the fact the engine must work harder because of its cooled, thickened oil. The strain on the motor, in turn, intensifies workload on an automobile’s electrical system. What does this mean? A battery that functions perfectly fine in warm-to-mild temperatures may not have enough juice to work in the cold.
Another thing to take into consideration regarding automotive batteries is their CCA, or Cold Cranking Amps rating. A battery’s CCA indicates the amount of amps it can produce at zero-degrees Fahrenheit, for a 30-second interval. The older the battery, the more its CCA rating has deteriorated, leading to sluggish performance or complete failure in cold weather. A battery with a higher CCA rating is not necessarily the solution as they are bigger, heavier and more expensive. Visit us today at Carolina Mobile Auto and have one our certified technicians inspect your vehicle battery’s winter-readiness today
It is always important to have properly inflated tires on your vehicle to ensure maximum traction and overall safety. It’s imperative you actively monitor your car or truck’s tire pressure during the winter since air condenses in cold temperatures. Tires in general, lose about one PSI of air pressure for every ten degrees the temperature drops. Inadequately filled tires can spell disaster, especially on wet, slick or icy roads.
Colder weather causes the rubber components of a tire to harden, even on all-season tires. As the rubber hardens, it loses its traction properties, providing less stability and control while increasing the probability of an accident. Dedicated winter tires, featuring softer rubber aimed at mitigating cold weather hardening would be ideal. However, this is not an option or economically feasible for everyone. We recommend thoroughly inspecting and rotating your tires, replacing or servicing any that are worn or damaged.
Inspecting and servicing your car or truck’s brakes is key to proper winter vehicle prep. With the increase in rain, snow, sleet and ice during winter months your automobile’s brakes are under increased distress. Moisture along with cold damp conditions leads to rust and corrosion, increasing wear while substantially decreasing performance and safety. Most brakes have a visual indicator, along with an audio signal, like screeching, to inform you it’s time for service. If you aren’t sure what to look for, bring your vehicle in to Carolina Mobile Auto and we’ll gladly examine it for you.
An often-overlooked aspect of winter vehicle prep is the gas tank. During the winter season, moisture collects inside a gas tank, which eventually turns into condensation. Excessive condensed water mixing into a car or truck’s fuel system can lead to an array of costly auto repairs. Condensed water that freezes inside the gas tank exponentially increases damage to the engine. Maintaining your vehicle’s fuel level at a half-tank or more is recommended to mitigate the negative effects of winter weather.
A properly maintained windshield and related components are essential to winter vehicle prep along with safely navigating challenging weather conditions. Address cracks immediately as cold weather will further stress and expand them! And in doing so, will likely also decrease visibility and safety.
Inspect and replace wiper blades regularly, for obvious reasons. Also, always be certain to top off your vehicle’s windshield wiper fluid. Using the correct fluid is paramount as it has anti-freezing elements, and won’t freeze on you when you need it most.