How to Winterize Your Car

How to Winterize Your Car

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 temperatures.
  • 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.
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