Prepare Your Car for the Winter

Winter is coming as the popular memes say!

For many drivers that means car challenges are coming too. From freezing temperatures to icy roads let’s make sure your car is well cared for and ready to take on the winter month’s challenges.

Here are some tips for getting ready:

Lights
It gets dark so early! A major hazard with winter driving is that the sun goes down earlier in the day, and you will be driving more after dark especially on your commute home. Make sure all of your vehicle’s lights are in excellent shape, providing the brightest illumination possible. If you have a bulb out, get it replaced now. If there’s snow covering any exterior light, make sure you remove it before driving anywhere. If your headlights are cloudy or yellow, consider replacing them or look into an easy restoration kit.

Battery
Cold weather can make it more difficult for your battery to function. A battery that’s weak during the summer could turn into a dead battery during the winter. Have a volt test performed on your battery to confirm it is in good working order. If it isn’t, buy a new battery as soon as possible so you don’t need to worry about being stranded or left in a cold parking lot with a car that won’t start.

Coolant/Antifreeze
This keeps the engine from freezing in cold temperatures. Check your levels and make sure your car isn’t low on coolant and if you notice fluids leaking beneath your car, stop in to have your car checked for a leak.

Gasoline
Try to keep your tank more towards full during the winter months, a good guideline is not lower than half a tank when possible. You should try to keep your gas tank full for several reasons, like the fact that a full tank may prevent accumulated water from freezing inside your fuel pump and can help you stay warm by allowing the engine to stay running in case you get stuck because of bad road conditions like snow or ice.

Washer Fluid & Windows
You should also keep you’re an eye on your windshield fluid, keeping it on the full side as well because a full windshield-washer reservoir is tremendously important, as messy road debris from a snowstorm can sometimes necessitate constant window washing to see where you’re going. You should also carry an ice scraper and snow brush combo to help make sure you can clear off windows before driving. If you park outdoors, leave the wipers in the raised position to prevent them from freezing to the windshield. Never use your wiper blades to remove ice, snow or frost from the windshield; use the ice scraper instead.

Tires and Tire Pressure
Snow or not, if you live in an area where temperatures regularly fall below 45 degrees, you should consider changing to winter tires for better traction while turning or stopping on cold pavement. At least check your tread, one easy way is the penny test. Simply insert a penny into your tire’s tread groove with Lincoln’s head upside down and facing you. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, your tread depth is less than 2/32 inch and it’s time to replace your tires. It’s incredibly important to keep track of your tire pressure as temperatures get colder. This is because tire pressure can drop along with the air temperature, losing up to one pound per square inch with every 10-degree drop in air temperature. Driving around with low tire pressure could mean premature tire wear or potential tread separation, which could lead to a major accident. Also, your car handles less predictably with underinflated tires. If you check your tire pressure and find that one or more of your tires are low on air, fill them at a gas station air pump and don’t forget to let out a little air as temperatures start to climb again in the spring.

Survival Kit
Along with your car being prepared we recommend that you are prepared if you are stuck in your car. Consider a survival kit to be kept in your vehicle. Especially motorists in rural areas might find themselves stuck on a deserted road with heavy snow falling and few vehicles around for miles. In urban areas, heavy snowfall or ice can stop traffic for hours. So, if there’s even some possibility you’ll end up stuck on the road, a survival kit is a good idea. Stock yours with a blanket, extra gloves and hats, chemical hand warmers, a first-aid kit, a knife, a flashlight, jumper cables, flares, and a cellphone charger that works in your vehicle’s 12-volt outlet. Water and non-perishable food items in single serve bags can be packed to offer a variety of options. We also suggest keeping a shovel, possibly a bag of kitty litter for traction in your vehicle’s trunk. Keeping some sort of de-icer spray handy is a good idea too, so you can easily access the engine or trunk in case they’re frozen shut.
Oxford Automotive is offering a Winterization Special for only $99 (a $149 value). Just ask for the Winterization Special or use code “winter17” when scheduling your appointment. Expires 12/31/17

The Winterization Special includes:

  • Perform a full vehicle digital inspection
  • Run a diagnostic scan for any fault codes lube chassis
  • Inspect tires for winter performance
  • Rotate & balance tires
  • Complete brake inspection
  • Inspect front & back wiper blades for proper operation
  • Check antifreeze for proper freeze point
  • Perform a computerized battery & charging system analysis
  • Replace washer fluid w/ Rain-X fluid (good for up to -25F)
  • Oil service (additional charge for synthetic oils, trucks & vehicles using more than 5 quarts*)
    Call us at 1-740-747-2841 to schedule an appointment