Tips for Winterizing Your Car, Truck, or SUV

Winter is the harshest month of the year, especially for your car. Even if you don’t live in an area that gets lots of snow and sleet, the winter months can be especially rough on your vehicle and, if you don’t prepare for it, cause damage that can cost you lots of money to repair, lower your car’s value, and even shorten its lifespan.

The good news is, your friends at Indianapolis Ford dealer Community Ford have some helpful tips for how you can winterize your vehicle and protect it from the elements. Read on to learn more.

Winterize car tips

  1. Replace your windshield wipers.

Are your windshield wipers leaving behind streaks of water when you use them to clear the windshield? Are there cracks appearing in the rubber blades? If your windshield wipers are in anything but perfect working order, then it’s time to get them repaired or replaced before the full fury of winter arrives. Once the rain and snow arrive, you need your wipers to be able to stand up to the harshest conditions.

  1. Change the oil.

 Motor oil doesn’t maintain a consistent viscosity. Depending on the temperature inside and outside the engine, it can become thicker and thinner. If you live in an area that reaches sub-zero temperatures during the winter, then it’s time to change to a thinner (less viscous) oil. Why? Because if the oil becomes too thick during the cold of winter, it can damage the engine.

temperature outside

  1. Check the battery.

During the winter, car batteries hold less of a charge, making them more likely to die. Likewise, cold weather conditions can cause cables, wires, and other pieces under your car’s hood to wear out faster. Be sure to check under the hood and make sure that your battery is in good shape, and that all the cables are securely connected and aren’t showing serious signs of wear and tear.

  1. Switch the tires.

 Different states and cities have different policies regarding snow tires and chains – for example, in some states tire chains are illegal, whereas in other’s they are required. Even if your area doesn’t allow snow chains, consider switching your tires to ones mounted on steel wheels anyway. Not only are steel wheels easier to change, but they’re also cheaper, meaning you can spare your more expensive spring-fall wheels the harsh conditions they’d face if you kept them on the car during winter.

  1. Lubricate the locks.

 If you live in an area that gets particularly cold, or which gets lots of snow, then it’s time to lubricate the locks on your car doors. When the snow melts, it can flow into the gaps between the car body and the door and then refreeze, causing the locks to stick and locking you out of your car. Don’t forget to lubricate the trunk, too!

Want to learn more about winterizing your vehicle? Speak to the Indianapolis Ford experts at Community Ford by calling 317-831-2750.