It may be 75 degrees in Austin today, but even in Texas it is bound to get chilly eventually. That’s why we’re here to give you some great tips on how to protect your vehicle from the cold! Read on and be winter ready, y’all!
- Check your battery. Battery issues are the number one reason for car breakdowns, and cold weather is especially likely to drain your battery life. Check your battery terminals and cables, making sure they’re tight and free from corrosion. Proceed to coat with grease or petroleum jelly to keep deposits from forming. If the battery looks swollen or casing is cracked, take your vehicle to your nearest Leif Johnson Ford service center to be checked right away.
- Monitor your tires Tire pressure drops considerably as the weather gets colder. This effects your car’s handling and stopping abilities. Check your tire pressure every month, and fill your tires properly with the amount listed on your driver’s side door jam.
- Check and change your oil. Colder temps cause oil to thicken, impeding its ability to travel through your engine. This is another issue that may lead to a breakdown. Your owner’s manual will instruct you on the best oil to buy for your vehicle.
- Inspect belts and hoses for cracks or fraying. They are more likely to be brittle and break in the wintertime. A damaged belt will reduce your engine’s efficiency and a leaky hose could lead to an overheated engine, which could lead to costly repairs that you don’t need in the holiday season.
- Keep your gas halfway full at all times to prevent a gas line freeze up.
- Check your coolant level whenever you fill up your tank. Being low on coolant, aka antifreeze, can prove extremely detrimental to your vehicle’s engine.
- Examine your wipers. In the winter, they need to be in top shape to handle ice and even the occasional and quick snow flurries in Texas. If the rubber is cracked, broken or falling off it is time to replace. Be sure to use a windshield washer fluid with the required freeze protection level for your area.
- Inspect your windshield, looking for any cracks or chips. When temps drop below freezing, cracks are more likely to spread as the glass becomes more concave, and the moisture in chips can freeze and expand.
- To protect your windshield while driving, try your best to avoid flying debris than can damage your vehicle
- Always travel with an emergency kit in your trunk. In extreme cold, this is even more important, as you’re more likely to break down. Include jumper cables, a charged jump starter, a charged cell phone, a phone charger, tire chain and abrasive materials like sand or kitty litter. Also include a small shovel, a flashlight, an ice scraper, rags or paper towels, blankets, flares, bottled waters and snacks such as energy bars. It sounds like a lot, but believe us- in case of emergency your crew is going to be glad they rode with you!
If you have any more questions or want us to help making sure your vehicle is winter ready, give us a call at 512-454-3711 today! We look forward to seeing you!
(Big thanks to Ford Vehicles for an awesome how-to video and instructions!)