Winter can be a beautiful and magical time. But the snow, ice, and plummeting temperatures can create unique problems for cars. 

Without the proper winter maintenance, you could find yourself broken down and shivering on the side of the road.

Stup’s Auto has created this helpful list so you can make sure your vehicle is ready for winter! 

Inspect Your Tires

Winter is known for its slippery road conditions, made worse by insufficient tires. Inspecting the quality of your tires before winter sets in can help you avoid spin-outs and collisions

Be sure that the tire treads have adequate depth and no place looks particularly worn. You should also check the pressure of the tires regularly, especially before long drives or after fluctuating temperatures.

Finally, depending on where you live, consider investing in snow tires. These tires are designed with snowy conditions in mind, giving you more traction and peace of mind.

Change the Oil

Cold temperatures tend to cause motor oil to thicken, creating extra work for your engine.

Be sure the oil you use has a “W” in the viscosity index level, which indicates it is winter-friendly. Formulas such as 5W-20, 5W-30, and 10W-30 are typical for modern engines. Checking your car’s user manual will let you know what oil is best for your car.

If you discover that synthetic oil is recommended for your vehicle, consider switching over. Synthetic oil is more expensive, but its lower viscosity makes it more efficient in the winter.

Check the Heating System

In the heat of summer, it’s probably been a while since you’ve turned off the A/C and cranked up the heat.

But in the chill of winter, the last thing you want is to turn on the heat and be met with only cold air. It’s best to check that the heating is working effectively before you need it. 

Most importantly, test out the defroster vents at the bottom of the windshield. These vents are designed to protect your visibility, so it is crucial that they are in working order.

Maintain the Battery

The cold winter months will take their toll on your car’s battery. Without enough cranking power in the battery, your car won’t be able to start.

Start off winter on the right by having your battery tested at your local auto shop. Weak batteries should be replaced before they give out.

Check Your Antifreeze

Antifreeze is one of the most important liquids in your vehicle, especially in the winter. It is mixed with the water in your coolant system to prevent damage to the engine. 

Inspect the coolant reservoir, located near the radiator. Most reservoirs are made of clear plastic, so you can assess the level and compare it to the max fill line. If the liquid is too low, top it off with coolant, or a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze. 

Full-Service Auto Shop in Frederick, MD

For all your winter car needs, trust the experienced team at Stup’s Auto! For over 65 years, we have provided high-quality auto parts, service, body work, towing, and salvaging. We are the supreme choice for drivers in Frederick, Maryland, and beyond! Call now to learn more.

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