Is your vehicle ready for the cold weather?
We know all too well how winter weather can affect our bodies. Freezing temperatures and frigid wind chills can take your breath away. Snow and ice can make stepping outside a dangerous task.
But have you ever considered how cold weather affects your vehicle? Your car is always at risk to rust and corrosion, dust, and moisture, especially in winter weather. If you live where it snows, snow, ice, loose gravel and salt can do serious damage to your cars paint job, bodywork and engine. Minor scratches and nicks turn to rust and your windshield must deal with the temperature stress of a warm interior and a freezing exterior. In extreme cold weather (freezing and below) your car needs extra care. Check out these tips for preparing your car for cold weather:
1. If you have a garage or indoor storage, use it Prevent corrosion, protect your paint job, guard against ice on the windshield, and guard against the fluids and/or water in your radiator from freezing. Condensation can even build up in the gas line and gas tank and freeze. Differences in temperatures can turn minor dents into major problems. Thermal shock is the term engineers use to describe the stress caused by drastic differences in outdoor and indoor temperatures. If you have a small ding in your windshield, thermal shock can cause your minor ding to turn into a major crack.
2. Wash the underside of your car during and after the winter season This will remove the salt used to melt the ice on the roads. Salt left on the body of your car can lead to damage, which ultimately leads to corrosion.
3. Check all of your vehicles fluid levels Change your oil frequently, and change your engine coolant and transmission fluid every two years. Pure engine coolants can freeze at zero degrees, but mixing with water prevents freezing and provides great protection for the cold weather. Though fluids like oil and transmission are commonly checked, other fluids integral to your vehicle’s performance, may go unnoticed. Power steering, brake, radiator and battery fluids also should be filled to recommended levels.
4. Don’t forget to top off windshield washer fluid Driving after salt trucks have come through to melt snow and ice, you know the importance of windshield washer fluid. Do not dilute washer fluid with water since it can freeze during winter’s harsh temperatures. You may also benefit from changing the wiper blades to prevent poor vision in already poor driving conditions.
5. Frequently check hose connections for leaks, damage or looseness Finding out on the first hot day that the air conditioning is out isn’t fun. Run the AC system for 10-15 minutes at least once a week during the winter months to circulate refrigerant as well as lubricating oil inside the compressor.
6. Check your lights Accidents can occur if you can’t see where you’re driving, or if other drivers can’t see you, especially as we approach winter’s short days and long nights.
7. Before you start driving, warm up your engine for a few minutes Then turn on the heater, and particularly the defrost feature. The defrost action will begin to warm the windshield (and other windows) for easier and better results if you must scrape the windows. Ultimately, a car cover can be your most valuable investment when it comes to caring for your car in the winter. They protect the paint, bodywork, and engine of your car from those cold weather elements we’ve already mentioned, thus acting as a strong corrosion inhibitor all year long.
All Zerust® Car Covers are woven with corrosion inhibiting formula to provide a VCI (Vapor Corrosion Inhibitor) protection on the surface of your automobile. The Car Cover fulfills all the traditional uses of a car cover —protection from water and sun —but also provides a unique protection against rust and corrosion without intensive upkeep. The rust and corrosion inhibitors will remain active for 5 years after the date of purchase. It is a perfect way to keep your car looking new, even during the worst that winter has to offer.