Winter car care tips from the experts at Drive Smart Georgia
From north to south and east to west, people across America (including right here in Georgia) will be shivering when temperatures dip due to a deep Arctic plunge. While most of us would love to stay toasty warm indoors, that’s not always possible. If you have to hit the roads in the next few days, make sure your vehicle is winterized and prepared for the blast of cold. Below are some cold weather car care tips from the experts at Drive Smart Georgia, Allstate and more.
When temperatures go down, many things can happen, but the one you should always keep at the front of your mind is that the air pressure in your tires will be lower in cold weather than in hot. It’s simple physics, really – cooler air means slower molecular motion, and that causes the air pressure to drop. Invest in a tire gauge and learn how to read it. Allstate says that tire pressure affects your gas mileage, tread wear, and most importantly – safety. Take care to keep your tires properly inflated when temperatures are cooler and you’ll cruise through the cold weather cool as a cucumber.
Check your antifreeze
Antifreeze can be one of the trickiest parts of your winterizing routine because, even though it has a strong green color, the additives could be worn out. According to Roadandtravel.com, antifreeze should be replaced every two years. If you’re not sure when your antifreeze was last changed, you can easily check its endurance and freeze point with an antifreeze tester (they cost less than five dollars at any auto parts store). But if you’re not a do-it-yourselfer, have it checked at a quick oil change or other service provider. They have more accurate and reliable testers.
When the temperatures drop dramatically, make sure your battery is up for the cold weather challenge. Check that terminals are clean and tightened – you may even want to clean around terminals with an old toothbrush and a homemade mixture of baking soda and water. Keep in mind that you should replace your battery every three to four years, but if you suspect your battery won’t survive the season, have a trained technician check it out.
Fill up before a freeze
Did you know that a full tank of gas will help keep the fuel line from freezing? As suggested by Ready.gov, drivers should also replace and keep water out of the system by using additives.
Teen drivers are especially vulnerable when it comes to car problems. “It’s always important to make sure their car is in proper working order,” suggests Steve Jones, owner of Drive Smart Georgia. “A few safety precautions, especially in winter, can go a long way to ensure a safe journey.