How to maintain your car in winter cold weather
Nationally, it was the coolest April since 2015 with an area-average mean temperature just 0.01 °C above the 1961–1990 average for April.
Winter temperatures across Australia can vary greatly. Taking the time to do some simple, winter vehicle maintenance can make all the difference, assisting to keep it in good working order.
As winter sets in, it’s important to make sure your car is prepared for colder temperatures.
Here are some tips to help you keep your car in top condition during the winter months.
- Check Your Battery
Cold temperatures can reduce the performance of your car battery. If your battery is more than three years old, have it checked by a professional to ensure it can handle the colder weather. Also, make sure your battery is fully charged before the winter months arrive.
A typical car battery lasts about three to five years, so if your battery is approaching this age, it’s a good idea to have it checked by a professional.
You can also test your battery voltage using a voltmeter. Simply connect the voltmeter to the battery terminals, and if the reading is below 12.4 volts, it may indicate a weak battery that needs to be replaced.
The battery terminals should be clean and free of any corrosion. You can use a wire brush or battery terminal cleaner to clean the terminals.
Some car batteries have a removable cap that allows you to check the fluid level. If the fluid level is low, you can add distilled water to bring it up to the recommended level.
It’s important to keep your battery charged during the winter months. You can use a battery charger or simply drive your car more frequently to keep the battery charged.
- Check Your Tyres
Cold weather can cause your tires to lose pressure, which can affect your car’s handling and fuel efficiency. Check your tire pressure regularly and ensure it’s at the recommended level for your car. You can find the recommended tire pressure in your car’s owner’s manual or on a sticker located on the driver’s side door jamb.
The tread on your tires provides the necessary grip for safe driving on snow and ice.
Inspect your tires for any signs of damage, such as cracks, cuts, or bulges. Damaged tires can be dangerous and should be replaced immediately.
By following these, you can help ensure that your tires are in good condition during the winter months, and you can drive safely. If you’re unsure about the condition of your tires, it’s always a good idea to have them checked by a professional.
- Check Your Wipers and Washer Fluid
Inspect your wiper blades for any signs of damage, such as cracks, tears, or missing pieces. Damaged wiper blades can cause streaks on your windshield and reduce visibility. If your wiper blades are damaged, replace them with new ones.
Turn on your wipers and make sure they are clearing the windshield effectively. If you notice streaks or areas that are not being cleared, it may be time to replace the wiper blades.
Make sure your washer fluid level is topped up, as you’ll be using your washer fluid more frequently during the winter months to clear away salt and dirt from the road. Use a winter washer fluid that’s formulated to handle colder temperatures and won’t freeze in the reservoir or on your windshield.
Test your washer fluid by spraying it onto your windshield. If the fluid is not reaching the windshield or if the spray pattern is weak, it may indicate a clogged washer nozzle or a weak washer pump.
- Use a garage
Of course, using a garage is one of the easiest ways to protect your car from winter elements. If you have one, make use of it. This will help remove any dirt, grime, or salt that can cause damage to the paint and body of your car.
However, even when you have a garage you still need to regularly check the conditions inside it.
- Check on your coolant
Engine’s cooling system works to maintain the engine’s optimal operating temperature. The liquid inside is made from equal parts water and antifreeze, the latter of which prevents the water from freezing and expanding in cold temperatures. The resulting mix is called coolant. Check that your coolant hasn’t gone bad by using a flashlight or phone torch to check the liquid inside your coolant reservoir. If it is brown, sludgy or has visible floating particles in it, it may need to be flushed and replaced.
- Fix any scratches to prevent rust
Depending on how deep the scratch is, rust may begin to form on your car’s body, which can weaken your vehicle in the event of a crash. Scratches on your car’s exterior can expose the bare metal underneath to moisture, which can lead to rust formation.
Make sure you remove scratches from cars before they rust, and get any rusty scratches fixed by a repair shop as soon as possible.
Scratches and other damage to your car’s exterior can decrease its resale value. By fixing scratches before the winter, you can help maintain the value of your car.
Fixing scratches before the winter is important for preventing rust, maintaining the value of your car, enhancing visibility, and preventing further damage.
Servicing your car before the winter is important for ensuring safety, maintaining performance, preventing breakdowns, and protecting your investment.
Cold temperatures can affect the performance of your car’s engine and other systems. also put more strain on your car’s battery and other components, which can lead to breakdowns.
Consider having your car serviced by a professional mechanic before the winter months to help keep it in good condition.
Every car owner knows they should have their car regularly serviced, but this is especially true if you plan on taking a winter road trip.
If a service isn’t on your agenda right now, at least check the following before taking off on a trip: engine oil, coolant level, windscreen washer fluid, brake fluid etc.
Most of these things can be done on-site.
If you need assistance or have questions,
please contact 07 5597 4774 Gold Coast Car Electrics & Mechanical today.