With winter right on top of us, those who live in cold weather climates are thinking about car care. When temperatures plummet and fluctuate, the mechanical systems of the vehicle do too. In fact, there are some features in your car that you should pay extra attention to during frigid temps. Check these out and take note when addressing future maintenance on your vehicle.
TPMS Light Coming on?
So often drivers ignore the warning lights that flash intermittently on their screen dashboard. If it’s not the check engine or oil light, it’s probably not a big deal right? Well, the TPMS or tire pressure monitoring system, signals when there is an issue with tire pressure. It could indicate a slow leak or an impending flat. But during cold temps, pay attention to the alerts. While tire pressure declines about 1 PSI as air temperature dips, it means the air in the tire condenses. It doesn’t always mean you’re losing air, but it’s still good to get the pressure checked. A slight leak can make it harder to control your car on slick roads.
Beam Windshield Wipers
Still have your old windshield wipers on your car? If you get a lot of snow and ice in your region, you may wish to upgrade to snow-friendly beam windshield wipers. The one-piece wipers have steel inside the rubber blade, which provides uniform pressure, boosting wiping power. Because traditional wipers can lock up due to ice or even snap during a bad storm, it’s wise to upgrade to something more reliable.
Engine Block Heater
An engine block heater helps keep engines warm when temps drop below freezing. Some cars, especially older models may not start in cold weather and may require temperatures to rise first or need a jump start. Plugging in the block heater overnight keeps engines warm and helps prevent oil from turning to sludge. It also keeps fluids from turning icy, making sure they are able to do their jobs.
Some car features include electronic stability control, also referred to as ESC. This feature focuses not on traction, but senses if the vehicle is sliding in a sideways motion. The system then kicks in and the wheels automatically realign, to help pull out of a dangerous slide. The stability feature works with traction control; both help keep the wheels straight and prevent them from spinning when in a ditch or slick spot.
The time is now to prepare for upcoming bad weather conditions. Snowstorms and icy temperatures are unpredictable. Don’t be left in the dark or worse, stuck on the side of the road. Make sure your vehicle is ready today.
~ To Your Survival!
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