Winterizing your Car Fact vs. Fiction


There is a big difference in driving a car in the winter versus other times of the year. This is particularly true in those places where there’s a dramatic difference in the climate during the winter months. For example, winterizing of a car may not be as important to the person living in Los Angeles as it is to the person living in Minnesota.

For those who have to face the bitter cold of winter each and every year, you know that a car has different needs when it gets cold outside. For the people who know what is to wake up to a snow covered car and a wind chill that is well below zero on a day when they still have get in their car and drive to work.

Below are some common beliefs that are held regarding what is and what is not required when it comes to winterizing your vehicle as you prepare for the cold season.

Let’s look at some of the FACTS we know regarding winterizing your vehicle:

-If you believe it’s a good idea to keep your car’s gas level no lower than one fourth of a tank during the winter months, you would be correct. When the gas level is too low and the cold weather hits, you’ll run the risk of freezing the gas line.

-If you believe it’s a good idea to change your windshield wipers at least once per year, you would be correct. Having a good set of wipers will ensure your visibility is not affected while driving in adverse conditions.

-If you believe it is a good idea to have your battery checked for corrosion on any of the connections or posts, you would be correct; and if the battery is more than a few years old, you might want to take it in to have it professionally checked

Now let’s look at what would be considered FICTION regarding winterizing your vehicle:

-Some people believe its okay to use the same type of oil in your car for all seasons. This is not the case since climate changes can affect oil and you don’t want to be driving around in the winter with an engine that’s not properly lubricated. A person should check their vehicle manual to see which oil is recommended for colder weather.

-Some people falsely believe the air pressure in their tires will have no affect on their winter driving. The truth is that tires not properly inflated can cause a negative experience for a driver operating their car in wet or snowy conditions; if the tires are not inflated properly the car will not get the proper traction need on wet or icy roads.

-Some people think there is no value in having an emergency kit in their vehicle. This is not true. Even if you have a newer car and it’s in relatively good condition, having an emergency kit is recommended. While it’s not likely to happen, if you somehow end up stranded in your car during a sever snow storm and no one can make it to rescue your right away, having an emergency kit could save your life. Having flares, a flashlight, a blanket, a shovel, extra clothes, a first aid kit and a few packaged snacks would be good for starters.

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