The cold, wet, and harsh weather of the winter months can be really hard
on a car, particularly older performance cars. While modern vehicles are
better-equipped to handle inclement conditions, owners of older or classic
cars should be sure they properly prepare them through a process known
as “winterization.” Winterizing your car is not a difficult
process; let’s take a look at the steps.
Check Your Fluids
Winter temperatures can cause a lot of fluids to contract while the car
is not running, so it’s important to be sure you have enough of
the vital liquids in your car.
Coolant: The correct mixture of water and antifreeze in your radiator prevents
the fluid from freezing and allows your engine to turn over in sub-freezing
Oil: Many auto mechanics, gear heads, and motor experts all agree that thinner
oil is better for cold temperatures. Talk to a mechanic or consult your
vehicle’s owner’s manual for advice.
Wiper fluid: If your wiper fluid is not freeze-resistant, it could solidify in your
sprayers and fluid tank. This bad because in many cases wiper fluid is
what can help you defrost your windshield.
Inspect Your Tires
Winter weather usually means slick roads. Whether it’s rain, ice,
or snow covering the roads, having tires that are worn or improperly inflated
are extremely dangerous. Run the “penny test” on your treads
to see if you need to replace your tires, and check your PSI. Inflate
your tires if necessary.
If you live in an area where snow is a relatively common occurrence, consider
investing in a set of snow tires. These provide much more grip on icy
roads, which improves your traction and your safety
Check Your Battery
Ever notice that your battery has a “cold crank” rating on
it? That’s because batteries do not like cold weather, and have
their output capacity reduced in cold temperatures. Before the weather
gets too cold, you should thoroughly inspect your terminals, cables, and
fluid levels. Check over the battery itself as well for any cracks or
breaks. The leads should all be clean and clear of any dried acid. If
you see any signs of damage, it’s a good idea to replace it.
Check Your Operating Components
Cold weather causes rubber and other materials to become more brittle and
breakable. For this reason, before it gets too cold, you should inspect
your hoses, belts, and spark plugs to make sure they’re in good
working condition and free from any signs of wear or damage. Those who
are more mechanically-inclined may opt to do this themselves. If not,
take your car to a mechanic and let them check it over. Replacing an old
worn belt can save you hours of hassle tons of money if it were to break on you.
Pack an Emergency Kit
Sometimes, you just can’t anticipate the effects winter may have
on your car. In those instances, it pays to be prepared by packing an
emergency kit in your car. Be sure to include things like road flares,
a jack, a lug wrench, and a first-aid kit. You may also want to consider
keeping an ice scraper and brush, flashlight, blanket and possibly a small
shovel and a bag of kitty litter, which can help you get out if you get
stuck in snow or slush.
For all your Houston high-performance auto service needs, call
HP Motorsports. We have more than 20 years of experience building, maintaining, and designing
high-performance modifications for a wide range of vehicles. Whether you
need a tune up or wish to put an entirely new engine in your vehicle,
you can trust that our skilled technicians will get the job done while
providing you with superior customer service.
To schedule an appointment or receive a free estimate, call HP Motorsports
today at (281) 231-9950.