Even though winter weather conditions in Winston-Salem are not as severe as in other areas of the United States, it is extremely important that you prepare your car for winter as we can still experience the challenges that come with colder weather and treacherous road conditions. Winter not only brings with it colder temperatures and more precipitation, it also brings a greater chance of breakdowns and accidents.
Preparing yourself for winter driving has two facets. When the roads are cold and slippery, drivers need to adjust their behavior as soon as they get behind the wheel and be more vigilant, looking out for anything that may come their way. Drivers should take extra time and pay more attention while turning and passing, especially as temperatures drop and road conditions deteriorate.
Beyond your own actions, preparing your vehicle is just as important. Winterizing your car will make you vehicle safer and reduce the chance of mishaps. You will also be better prepared to travel out of the area if you take care of the following basic needs before the coldest part of the winter sets in.
Change Your Oil
Yes, we know you constantly hear about the importance of changing your oil at regular intervals. When the seasons change, new oil becomes even more important because outside temperatures influence the internal temperature of your engine. You should switch to a thinner, less viscous oil to ensure that your vehicle runs properly in cold weather. The technicians at Carolina Mobile Auto Service will recommend the proper oil for your vehicle.
Flush and Refill the Cooling System
Coolant not only keeps your vehicle from overheating in summer, it also helps protect it against corrosion in winter. Flush your coolant system before winter if it is due for service and make sure that your coolant has ethylene glycol for extra protection. Ensuring that your engine has the proper coolant to water ratio is more important in colder weather. For most vehicles the ratio is 60 percent coolant to 40 percent water.
Don’t Forget Your Battery
Dead batteries are more common in winter. That’s because the colder the weather gets, the harder it is for the battery to crank. Thoroughly inspect your battery cables for cracks and breaks, while also checking the terminals for loose connections. Our technicians will also ensure that the battery has the correct level of battery acid. If your battery is three to four years old, it may be time for a replacement. When a battery is aging, it’s also important to have the level of charge checked to ensure that you don’t end up stranded on a roadside in inclement weather.
Windshield Wipers and Fluid
Being able to see properly is an essential part of safe winter driving. Replace your wiper blades if they are cracked or getting old. Make sure you also have enough windshield solvent to get you through the winter. When roads are wet and sloppy, you won’t believe how much you will use.
Follow Manufacturer’s Recommended Servicing
Following the manufacturer’s recommended service schedule can prevent unsafe operation and possible breakdowns by checking for worn parts. If your vehicle is approaching a recommended service interval, get the work done before cold weather sets in.
Assemble an Emergency Kit
Even with the best maintenance, unexpected breakdowns can occur. If you don’t already have one, assemble an emergency kit that includes items such as flares, blankets, a flashlight, engine oil, washer fluid, snacks and even an extra cell phone battery in case you become stranded. Also make sure you have a good spare tire and a working jack.