Cold-Weather Maintenance Tips for Your Vehicle

LifeStyle, Safety on January 15, 2020

Phoenix might have a reputation for being one of the hottest spots in the United States, but it can get pretty cold here sometimes! Every winter, your vehicle could encounter mechanical issues because of the changing temperatures. Check out these cold-weather maintenance tips to prepare your vehicle for the winter.

  1. Check Your Headlights

Winter brings us the shortest days of the year. That means you may rely on your headlights when getting to and from work each day. If you have any bulbs that are out, you should replace them immediately. When there is yellowness or fog, consider applying a restoration kit to improve the illumination.

  1. Check Your Battery

A volt test is the only way to know if your battery is ready for winter. If you have a multimeter at home, then set it for 15 to 20 volts. Turn the headlights on for about two minutes to remove any surface charge, and then connect the positive (red) and negative (black) ends to the battery terminals. Anything that’s 12.6 volts or below means you might have a bad battery. If you don’t have a multimeter, stop by your local shop to get checked! With the extreme summer heat in AZ, batteries need to be changed more frequently than other areas.

  1. Check Your Coolant

Antifreeze stops your engine from seizing because of the cold weather. You need to make sure that your vehicle isn’t low on coolant before driving. It also helps to check for leaks that could cause unexpected drainage. A half-and-half mixture of coolant and water is a best practice because it creates a lower freezing point than using antifreeze alone.

  1. Check Your Gasoline Levels

Keeping your gas tank at least one-quarter of the way full during the winter months can prevent water accumulations from freezing in your fuel pump. If you can maintain a full tank whenever possible, then you can run the engine to stay warm.

  1. Check Your Washer Fluid

Salt and other melting agents get applied to roadways in colder areas during the winter months. If you run out of washer fluid, then your windshield could blind you under certain conditions. You will want to keep your reservoir full as often as possible since some storms up north can require constant washing to maintain your vision.

  1. Check Your Tires

If you use all-season tires on your car, then take the opportunity before winter comes to check their tread. You can do so with a standard penny. Place the coin so that Lincoln’s head is facing the tire. If the gap isn’t large enough to reach his hairline, then you should consider replacing them.

Winter driving conditions don’t usually happen in Phoenix or Tucson themselves, but if you are road-tripping north or to other areas with snowfall, it’s smart to keep be prepared. The colder weather is a reminder to check on these maintenance issues to ensure that you can stay safe if the snow does start to fly.