As the weather gets a little colder, it is a good idea to prepare your vehicle for the coming changes in temperature. Yes, you live in Florida, but you don’t have to travel very far north to find cold weather. You don’t want to have to spend money on repairs that you could have prevented. Here are a few car care tips that will get you through colder weather.
- Check the battery. A car battery loses its power when temperatures drop. For example, when temperatures get below freezing, a battery has only about half of the cranking power that it does on an 80-degree day. To check your battery, you can remove the plastic caps and make sure your fluid levels are correct. If they are low, you can add distilled water. If you have a maintenance-free battery, there should be an indicator that tells you that the battery is fully charged. You can also have the battery tested to ensure it’s charge capacity.
- Wiper blades. Nothing is more frustrating that navigating through cold, wet weather with wiper blades that do not clear your windshield. Wiper blades begin to lose their effectiveness after about six months of use. If yours are leaving streaks or are not cleaning the windshield appropriately, have them replaced. They are cheap, easy to install, and make driving much easier.
- Check the oil. In colder weather, motor oil will thicken and make it harder for an engine to turn over. Check your owner’s manual and make sure you are using the correct oil. The most common formulas today include 5W-20, 5W-30, and 10W-30 which produce good oil flow at colder temperatures. The ‘W’ indicates that the oil is formulated for winter use. If you have your oil changed before the colder temperatures come, make sure to replace the oil filter as well.
- Tires. Safe driving throughout the colder months will depend heavily on your tires. Take the time to make sure they are properly aligned and rotated. You should also check the tread. For regular tires, they should not have wear to less than 2/32 of an inch. If you did opt for winter tires, they should not be worn down to less than 5/32 of an inch.
- Check the cooling system. Make sure your antifreeze levels are where they should be. A rule of thumb is to replace your antifreeze every two years. If it has been over two years, you should consider having your system flushed and fluids replaced.
These five tips can help to prevent any major issues due to cold weather. If you do need any car repairs and are struggling with how to pay for them, consider a car title loan from Embassy Loans. Car title loans are short-term loans that you can obtain quickly and without hassle. You can get a car back on the road quickly and pay the loan off in as little as a month.