How to Winterize Your Car
It can be dangerous to drive during winter because of snow and ice on the road. That is why it’s important to prepare your Toyota vehicle for winter driving. Below are some tips to winterize a car to ensure it can handle winter road conditions.
Have Your Car Serviced Before Winter Arrives
The best time to winterize a car is before winter arrives. Have your Toyota vehicle serviced to make sure it’s ready for the challenges of the cold season.
- Request your car care provider install a battery at 600 CCA or above. A battery with a 600 CCA rating can start an engine even in freezing temperatures.
- Determine the right antifreeze for your Toyota vehicle. You should also ask your technician about the right coolant-to-water ratio to prevent potential freezing and corrosion.
- Ask the technician to check your brakes to ensure the best performance when driving on icy roads.
- Have your belts, spark plugs, hoses, cables, and wires checked. If any of these components break down while you’re driving during winter, you could get stuck on the road for a long time.
Install Winter Tires
To winterize a car, you must install winter tires, especially if you live in a place that experiences freezing temperatures. The rubber compounds in regular tires tend to harden when the temperature drops below zero. If that happens, the tire’s gripping ability decreases. Winter tires use special compounds designed to resist hardening in freezing weather. These tires offer better traction on snow, ice, and dry roads than regular tires.
Check Tire Pressure Regularly
Every 10-degree drop in temperature could mean a change in tire pressure. So during winter, you should check your tire pressure more frequently. Check the tire placard in the driver’s side of the door jamb or the owner’s manual to determine the right pressure for your tires.
Maintain at Least a Half-Filled Tank
During winter, it’s always important to have at least a half-filled gas tank. Having gas in the tank can reduce condensation and prevent the gas from freezing up. And if you get stranded on the road, having enough gas can keep the engine running to keep you warm until you’re rescued.
Switch to Winter Wipers
Ice tends to collect on regular wipers. That is why it’s important to switch to winter wipers when you winterize a car. These have a special rubber coating that prevents ice from accumulating on them. Remember to switch back to regular wipers come spring because these wipers are heavy and increase the load on your wiper motor. You should make sure that you have enough washer fluid. You need to use wiper fluid that is formulated for cold weather. You can also add washer fluid antifreeze to the washer reservoir.
Know What to Do During an Emergency
You must avoid getting stuck in a winter storm at all costs. But you should also know what to do in case it happens. If you do get caught in a winter storm, don’t leave your car, or you may lose sight of it. Turn your vehicle on just long enough for you to stay warm, and then turn it off again to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Put your dome lights on to attract people’s attention.
Want more tips on how to winterize a car? Call or visit University Toyota in Morgantown, WV. We can also make sure that your Toyota vehicle is ready for extreme weather conditions.