Cold weather can place an excessive amount of stress on your vehicle. As such, many people begin to experience an increasing number of vehicle problems during winter. To avoid dealing with costly and time-consuming car problems during the coldest months of the year, you’ll need to enhance and adjust your usual car maintenance routine a bit. To keep your car in good condition despite the cold, follow these essential winter car maintenance tips.
Switch To Synthetic Transmission Fluid
One of the best ways to preserve your transmission during the winter is to switch from standard transmission fluid to synthetic fluid. When temperatures dip below freezing, standard transmission fluid will often begin to thicken and won’t flow through the engine smoothly. The increase in viscosity can prevent the transmission fluid from adequately lubricating the transmission’s many moving parts, which will likely lead to premature wear and tear—among other issues.
Synthetic transmission fluid, however, typically remains less viscous, even in cold temperatures. As such, switching from standard to synthetic transmission fluid can keep one of your vehicle’s most expensive components working smoothly throughout the winter.
Check Your Tire Pressure Regularly
Another essential winter car maintenance tip is to check your tire pressure regularly. As temperatures shift and drop, so does your tire pressure. In general, every 10-degree decrease in temperature results in one pound of pressure loss in your tires. Because under-inflated tires can wear down more quickly and lose traction, it’s best to check your tire pressure at least once a week and reinflate your tires when necessary.
Give Your Battery Some Extra Attention
One of the most common vehicle issues during the winter is a dead battery. When temperatures drop, the cranking power of car batteries reduces significantly. Because car batteries experience much more stress when you start your car during the winter, they are more likely to give out. To avoid getting stranded in the snow, make sure your battery’s fluid level is correct and that it has a full charge.
In addition, you may consider having a professional test your battery to make sure it is up for a long, cold winter. If not, it’s better to replace it before it dies while you’re trying to drive home on a frigid night. Regardless, you should probably keep some jumper cables in your car just in case.
Add a Coat of Polymer Wax
During the winter, road salt, sleet, and snow can all take a toll on your vehicle’s paint job and underbody. To prevent rusting and corrosion, consider adding a protective coating of polymer wax to your ride. Such wax will serve as an effective barrier against damaging winter weather and road salt so that your vehicle looks as good as new come spring.