There’s something about winter that makes the world feel a little magic.
The snow gives familiar scenes a mystical quality. The world seems quiet as everyone gathers with their families for the holidays.
But winter also brings its fair share of car problems. Besides icy roads, the cold weather can damage your car in a number of ways you may not think of. And your truck is not immune, no matter how tough it is.
To keep your truck running smoothly through the winter, you need to prepare for the cold weather. Here are a few things you can do to keep your truck safe.
Check Your Battery
There’s nothing quite as frustrating as a dead battery. Even if you keep jumper cables in your car (and you really should), you often have to flag down a neighbor or passerby to give you a jump.
In below-freezing temperatures, your engine takes more energy to move. This means that your battery needs to supply more power before your engine kicks in.
If your battery is low on juice, it might not be able to kickstart a cold engine.
On top of this, extreme cold can cause your battery to lose charge.
Make sure that your battery is in tip-top shape before the freeze comes. If you want to be extra safe, you can buy a battery warmer.
Use the Best Motor Oil For Cold Weather
We all know that low temperatures cause liquids to freeze.
But you’d be surprised how many people don’t realize that includes their motor oil.
Not every motor oil is created equal. Some are specifically engineered to withstand colder temperatures, which will prevent it from thickening and clogging.
If you skip this step, your engine might seize in cold temperatures, which will require a full engine replacement.
Change Out Your Tires
Winter driving means one thing: ice.
In the summer, you can generally get away with having tires that are in rough shape. But if you try to drive on those same tires in the winter, you’ll be sliding your way into a collision.
If you want to be safe, your best bet is to outfit your truck with winter tires. These tires are specifically designed to give you more traction through snow and slush.
Not only will they help your car handle better in slick conditions, but they will also help protect your summer tires, which can save you money.
Get a Pre-Winter Tune-Up
Just because your car works passably during the summer doesn’t mean that it will keep running through the winter.
Between slick roads, sub-zero temperatures, and wet weather, wintertime subjects your vehicle to extreme conditions.
To survive these conditions, your truck needs to be in tip-top shape.
Give your car a tune-up in the fall, before the temperatures drop too far. If there are any parts that need to be fixed, don’t wait. Purchase quality replacements from somewhere like this company to make sure it stays running through the winter.
If you wait too long, you may need to perform repairs on a cold truck in freezing temperatures.
Switch Out Your Fluids
Oil isn’t the only liquid in your car that freezes in cold temperatures. To keep your fluids from freezing up and damaging your engine, you need to change out your fluids.
Through most of the year, your radiator will work fine if you use a standard coolant or distilled water.
In the winter, these can freeze, seizing your radiator and putting your engine at risk.
When the temperatures drop, use a 50/50 mixture of coolant (or water) and antifreeze. This will keep your radiator working smoothly.
With all of the salt and dirt that gets kicked onto your windshield during the winter, it’s important that your wiper fluid is topped off.
But if you use standard wiper fluid, it might freeze as soon as you clean the windshield. This will make visibility even worse.
You won’t need to add antifreeze to your wiper fluid reservoir. But you should flush your wiper fluid and replace it with a specially designed cold-weather fluid.
Many of these fluids can even help melt thin layers of ice and snow.
Brake Fluid and Transmission Fluid
Some people get too concerned with their fluids freezing over and they try to add antifreeze to everything.
But that’s a mistake. Adding antifreeze to your brake fluid or transmission fluid can cause your vehicle to malfunction.
Most brake and transmission fluids have a very low freezing point, so there’s they won’t freeze except in very cold temperatures.
Make Sure the Defroster Works
With the falling temperatures, ensuring that your heater works is probably near the top of your priority list.
But it’s even more important that your defroster.
When there are extreme temperature differences between the inside and outside of your car, condensation can build up. Your windows fog up and you lose all visibility.
Test your defroster before the icy weather hits to make sure that you–and everyone around you — are safe.
Winter is Coming — Be Ready For It
Extreme winter weather brings a number of challenges to your vehicle. But if you prepare yourself with a tune-up, capable tires, and the best motor oil for cold weather, you can stay safe–even in dangerous conditions.
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