How Do I Protect My Car from the Cold in Brandon, MI?

Fall is upon us and winter is around the corner. Along with freezing temperatures, you can also expect some snowfall, salted roads, and frost. This kind of environment is tough on your vehicle. The last thing you want to do is strike out in the dead of winter inside a poorly maintained vehicle.

Get the Right Washer Fluid

You will probably use your washer fluid a lot more in the winter. To keep things running smoothly, you want to be sure you have the right type in the tank. Otherwise, the fluid can freeze in the lines. So find a winter washer fluid that does not freeze until minus 20 or 30 degrees.

Replace your Wiper Blades

Just as you use more washer fluid in the winter, you also use your wiper blades more often. They take a beating in the harsh climate and the rubber breaks down faster. So don’t forget your ice scraper and get replacement wiper blades regularly.

Test the Defroster and Heater

This isn’t just for comfort, but also safety. The heater and defrost help your visibility. You don’t want your windows to fog up or freeze over while you are driving down the road.

Routinely Check and Maintain Tire Pressure

Extreme temperatures cause tire pressure to fluctuate. Lower temps will diminish the tire pressure one pound per square inch for every 10 degrees dropped. This is dangerous because not only will you have less control, but the tire is more likely to blow out. So in the winter, check the tire pressure every month. You can find the recommended psi in your owner’s manual.

Get the Battery Tested

As temperatures drop below freezing, so does your battery’s capacity. If the cold drops below 22 degrees, your battery capacity can drop as much as 50 percent. If your battery is in top shape, you probably have nothing to worry about. But if it is an old battery, you might think about replacement. Otherwise, you can expect battery failure with extremely cold temperatures.

Take Care of the Transmission

As one of the most important components in your vehicle, you want to be sure your transmission is in top shape. The fluid thickens with colder temperatures. It won’t flow as easily through the lines and can result in jerky handling, or worse, complete transmission failure.

Check the Tires

Worn treads are especially dangerous on frozen roads. Take the time to examine your tires and test the remaining tread depth. If you notice uneven wearing, cupping, or damaged sidewalls, you will want to get your tires replaced before the first winter storm rolls through.

Inspect your Lights and Bulbs

Clean off and refinish clouded lenses to help improve visibility. Also test to make sure all of your signal lights operate correctly and replace any burned out bulbs.

Get a Brake Check

Take your car in for a quick inspection. The technician can test for several issues and make sure your car is ready to hit the road this winter. A big part of that will be making sure your brakes are in good shape.

Pack a First Aid Kit

It is always best to prepare for the worst. Along with the standard bandages and ointment, carry extra gloves, boots, coats and blankets to help you keep warm. A flashlight and batteries come in handy, as well as some snacks and water. You might also consider throwing a small shovel and sand in the back of your car.

Get your car ready for winter in Brandon, MI Toyota repair by scheduling an appointment with Holly Tire. Our professional technicians will perform a thorough inspection. They will replace or top off your fluids and make sure you will be safe behind the wheel. If you have any more questions about preparing your car for the cold, call us or visit our repair shop at 15140 N. Holly Rd. Holly, MI 48442.

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