Much of the country is suffering though a bit of an arctic chill at the moment (and by "bit" I mean massive, bone-chilling, teeth-chattering, freeze-your-nostrils-together chill). While we all have our techniques for coping, our cars are usually forced to suffer the brunt of it.
Related: The Cars That Beat This Winter
Just in time, the Car Care Council, a nonprofit organization that aims to educate the public on proper car maintenance, is touting some important things we can do to keep our cars running optimally. Apparently swaddling it in layers of fleece isn't one of them.
Here are their tips:
- Keep the gas tank at least half-full; this decreases the chance of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing.
- Check the tire pressure, including the spare, as tires can lose pressure when temperatures drop. Consider special tires if snow and ice are a problem in your area.
- Have the exhaust system checked for carbon-monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed.
- Allow your car a little more time to warm up when temperatures are below freezing so the oil in the engine and transmission can circulate and get warm.
- Change to low-viscosity oil in winter as it will flow more easily between moving parts when it is cold. Drivers in subzero temperatures should drop their oil weight from 10-W30 to 5-W30 as thickened oil can make it hard to start the car.
- Consider using cold weather windshield washer fluid and special winter windshield blades if you live in an area with especially harsh winter conditions.