Keeping your car well maintained is always important. In the cold harsh months of winter it is even more so. Not only do you not want to risk being stranded in the cold, but the extreme temperatures have an adverse effect on your vehicle in general and this needs to be monitored to ensure small problems do not become big ones.
Simple tips on How to maintain your car in the Winter
IN the winter your vehicle may sit several days without being driven. Due to the cold air and moisture in the winter air batteries can lose their charge and battery terminals can corrode leaving you unable to start your vehicle. Make sure you start your car and let it run 5 to 10 minutes every couple days even if not going anywhere. Baking soda and water can be used to clean corrosion from battery terminals very easily and a light coat of petroleum jelly will keep it from coming back.
Moisture in the cold air turns to condensed water in gas and frozen gas lines. Always have your gas tank at least half full in the winter months.Keeping the tank at least half full reduces the air that can add the moisture. When condensation happensinside the gas tank it can freeze in the gas lines as well as causing gas to become diluted by water. Using gas line antifreeze a couple times a week will control this as well.
Allow your engine to warm before beginning to drive. The viscosity of oil and transmission fluids becomes too thick to cover and protect the moving parts from friction wear when cold. Allowing it to warm a minute gives the lubricants chance to spread a protective layer over internal parts before making them work as hard. This will prevent unnecessary wear on your engine and transmission and potentially very costly repairs.
Maintain tire pressure at recommended level. Cold weather mixed with heated air when driving causes it to vary far more often than other times. Tire tread will wear fast and unevenly plus reduce handling of your vehicle in wintery conditions if the tire is under inflated. Over inflated tires do not give as much traction or stop as quickly.
Wash and wax the car frequently. Road grit contains salt that will damage the finish on your car and cause rust spots. The undercarriage needs to be pressure washed at least once a month to prevent salt accumulation and rust through on unpainted surfaces. Careful waxing will keep the finish protected against both elements and salt.
In addition to basic maintenance specialised equipment is handy for winter maintenance such as jack stands and hydraulic struts designed to stand up to winters. SGS Engineering has these available.