Winter Car Care

March 4th, 2019 by

Winter Car Care

In most of the US, winter has arrived. As temperatures drop, the roads can become more dangerous to drive. According to the US Department of Transportation, more than 5.8 million vehicle crashes occur each year, and about 21% of those are weather-related. Ensuring that your vehicle is ready for the winter is one of the best things you can do, here is a checklist for you:

  • Change your oil
  • Maintain your battery
  • Ensure your visibility
  • Inspect our tires
  • Check your antifreeze
  • Clean your fuel injectors
  • Do your diesel diligence
  • Have an emergency kit

Change Your Oil

The winter months are a good time to switch from conventional oil to a synthetic if you haven’t already (and if it’s appropriate for your vehicle).  Starting your Ford in the cold morning can be easier on your engine with a full synthetic oil. Synthetic oil flows easier at low temperatures and doesn’t require any warm up, providing crucial and immediate protection to the engine’s moving parts.  Not ready to make the switch try a synthetic blend. Blends consist of synthetic oil mixed with naturally occurring conventional oil. Check with your vehicle’s manufacturer or your Quick Lane advisor for specific recommendations on which oil is right for your vehicle.

Inspect Your Tires

The best way to stay out of an accident is by making sure your tires are up to the job. Performance tires are great for gripping the dry road, but they are almost useless on wet and snowy roads. Make sure to make the switch to winter tires.  Traction is key, take a look at your tires. If the tread lacks sufficient depth, you need to invest in a new set.

Check your tire pressure. For every 10-degree drop in air pressure, it is estimated that tire pressure decreases by one pound. Underinflated tires wear faster, hurt your fuel economy, and can reduce handling and traction.

Maintain Your battery

Maintain your battery. Severe weather changes can affect the chemical reaction in your battery and lower its output, leaving you frustrated and cold when it won’t start. Test your battery and charging system; replace the battery if it’s weak. A new battery is your best defense against cold weather. If you live in an especially cold climate or use your vehicle infrequently, you may want to keep your battery connected to a maintainer, this is because your battery is working harder in cold weather and it will gradually lose power over time if it isn’t in use.

Ensure Your Visibility

It’s hard enough to see in a blizzard don’t make it any harder on yourself. First, make sure all of your lights are working. If your headlights or tail lights are dim or yellow, replace the bulbs and clean your lenses.  Our service department also recommends that you replace your windshield wipers and fill the windshield washer tank with deicing fluid.

Check Your Antifreeze

Antifreeze is one of the essential winter chemicals because the liquid in an engine’s cooling system is made up of equal parts water and antifreeze. Depending on the brand, either ethylene glycol or propylene glycol in the antifreeze prevents the water from freezing, expanding, and causing damage to the engine. Bring your vehicle in and have your antifreeze checked by our service department pros.

Clean Your Fuel Injector

The colder temperatures can cause performance issues related to your trucks fuel system. Using a fuel injector cleaner prevents some problems from appearing. Add it to the gas tank during a routine fill up, to clean the injectors, which can help restore lost power and eliminate

Do Your Diesel Diligence

If you have a diesel, remember that diesel fuel lines tend to “gel” up in the winter.  Have this inspected by your professionals at the Quick Lane. Make sure to keep an eye on your diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) levels. On many passenger and commercial diesel vehicles, a dedicated tank contains DEF which is automatically metered and sprayed into the emissions system. Many vehicles have built in warnings and alerts to prevent DEF levels from being depleted.

Have an Emergency Kit

Having an emergency kit in your car is always recommended. A well-stocked emergency kit includes a hazard triangle or road flares, a poncho, an emergency blanket, jumper cables, a small tool kit, extra water. In an emergency, these items can be the difference between getting home and being stranded.

Call your Quick Lane advisor and schedule a winter maintenance appointment.