How to Prepare Your Car for Winter
When cold weather comes, it can wreak havoc on a car. It's a good idea to get your car ready and prepare a few things before the really cold weather hits the Metro Atlanta area. Here are some things you need to check on your vehicle before winter arrives:
CHECK YOUR TIRES
The first thing you need to look at is the condition of your tires. Your tires can make all the difference in how your car handles the snow and ice! They are the first method of defense and best strategy for navigating through icy Georgia roads in the winter. We have the dreaded "black ice" here, that you can't see until you are driving over it!
Check your tire pressure before it's cold outside. When cold air arrives, the tire pressure can impact the balance of the tires as well as the air inside the tire. In the summertime, heat makes the air expand, so in the winter, the air in our tires can contract. You may need to add air in your tires more than once in the cooler weather.
Check the tire tread. Make sure you have enough tread to get traction on snow or ice. Our roads here, in Cobb County and Cherokee County Georgia, can get icy. This creates scary conditions for drivers! Pay attention to your tires now, before you are sliding on the ice.
CHECK THE BATTERY LIFE
Some people think that the cold of winter kills the battery in your car, however, it's the summer heat that causes the water in the battery acid to evaporate. This causes extra stress on the battery in the winter time, because the reaction of electricity slows down inside the battery. Thicker fluids can make the engine struggle to start. Be sure to check the car's battery life and its condition before you have to sit outside on a frozen day, when your car won't start.
CHECK THE CAR'S FLUIDS
Extreme cold weather is hard on your car's engine. This in turn, demands more from the fluids in your car. Be sure to get your oil changed before colder weather arrives. One of the issues with oil in cold weather is condensation. When the oil doesn't warm up to full temperature, this can cause acids to form. The acids can cause corrosion and wear. (Have you ever bought a car that lived most of its life up North? Look at the difference in the engine!)
Another fluid you need to check is the coolant. This prevents the heater from freezing. Adding coolant isn't expensive, and it can keep the heater running in the dead of winter. Other fluids, such as the transmission fluid, the brake fluid, and the power steering, need to be checked and maintained too. At Speedy Marietta, we can check your transmission fluid, do a flush, or any transmission repairs, if needed.
ADD A PREPAREDNESS KIT
Before the weather gets cold, you should add a few things to your trunk, in case you get stuck. Exchange the towels and flip flops that you forgot about in your trunk, for a few winter items. You will want to add a small box with a blanket, water, some emergency food (like granola bars), flash light with good batteries, a first aid kit, and even cat litter (for traction).
Take the weekend and get your car prepared for winter, now, before its cold.