Archive for the ‘winter car care’ Tag

Car Care: Winter Maintenance Check

Heavy snow can be fun for some, but many drivers dread treacherous winter driving conditions. Being car care aware will help ensure your vehicle is ready for harsh winter weather encountered on the road, says the non-profit Car Care Council.

“Many drivers overlook auto care this time of year, even with inclement weather in the forecast,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Driving in snow, especially in heavy snowfall or a blizzard, takes patience and preparation. A vehicle that is properly prepared for the elements can help you avoid an unplanned road emergency when the weather takes an unexpected turn for the worse.”

To ensure that your vehicle is ready for winter driving, the Car Care Council recommends that motorists perform a winter maintenance check of areas that have direct impact on winter driving.

– Battery – Cold weather is hard on batteries, so it’s wise to check the battery and charging system for optimum performance. Because batteries don’t always give warning signs before they fail, it is advisable to replace batteries that are more than three years old.

– Antifreeze – Antifreeze (coolant) should be flushed and refilled at least every two years in most vehicles. As a reminder, do not add 100 percent antifreeze as full-strength antifreeze actually has a lower freeze point than when mixed with water.

– Brakes – Have the brake system checked. Brakes are critical to vehicle safety and particularly important when driving on icy or snow-covered roads.

– Tires – Check the tire tread depth and tire pressure, including the spare. If snow and ice are a problem in your area, consider special tires designed to grip slick roads. During winter, tire pressure should be checked weekly as tires lose pressure when temperatures drop.

– Oil – Be diligent about changing the oil at recommended intervals and check the fuel, air and transmission filters at the same time. Consider changing to low-viscosity oil in winter, as it will flow more easily between moving parts when cold. In sub-zero driving temperatures, drop oil weight from 10-W30 to 5-W30 as thickened oil can make it hard to start the car.

– Lights & Wipers – Make sure all exterior and interior lights are working so you can see and be seen. Check the fluid level in the windshield washer reservoir and replace wiper blades that are torn, cracked or don’t properly clean your windshield.

In addition, the council recommends a thorough vehicle inspection by a trusted professional service technician as winter magnifies existing problems such as pings, hard starts, sluggish performance or rough idling. Drivers should keep their vehicle’s gas tank at least half-full to decrease the chances of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing and stock an emergency kit with an ice scraper and snowbrush, jumper cables, flashlight, blanket, extra clothes, bottled water, dry food snacks and needed medication.

Read more at: http://www.carcare.org/2016/01/car-care-winter-maintenance-check/

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5 Winter Car Care Tips

Sometimes, it may be easy to forget about giving your car the tender loving care it needs to stay healthy. But with the heavy snow, icy roads and cold weather that winter can bring, now is the time to make sure to care for your vehicle.

Cold weather makes pliable material stiffer and more brittle and can make fluids thicker. If you live an area with severe winter weather, you know how dangerous the roads can get and the unique problems winter weather can create for your car.

So, take a look through our list of top five winter car care tips:


1. Take your car in for a tune-up.

If you haven’t taken your car to the shop for a while, now is the time to do so. A tune-up will help keep your car running longer and may save you money by detecting potential problems early.


2. Check your tires.

On slippery or icy roads, your tires are extremely important to giving you stability and controlled handling. So, make sure to check your tires’ pressure and wear. You can place a penny on its edge in a tread groove to test a tire’s tread. If you can see the top of his hair or any of the tires background, it is time to replace your tires. Do this in several spots because tires don’t wear evenly. You should also take your tires in to get rotated and properly balanced. If you’re in an area with particularly severe winter weather, you should consider purchasing a set of snow tires, which are made specifically for snowy and icy surfaces.


3. Check your fluids levels.

Make sure you check that the transmission, brake, power steering and windshield washer fluids and coolants are filled to proper levels. You should use de-icer windshield washer fluid which will help clear light ice and frost while preventing re-freezing.


4. Make a winter emergency kit.

In addition to the emergency road kit you should already have in your car, it is a good idea to have a special winter car kit. This kit should include things like cat litter or sand for tire traction on snow and ice, an ice scraper and de-icing liquid.


5. Check your air filters.

During the summer and fall, contaminants can get caught in your air filters and will eventually get caught inside your vehicle and cause problems. If you see any debris caught on the filter, it’s a good idea to get the filter replaced.

Read more at: http://blog.allstate.com/5-winter-car-care-tips/

To Idle or Not to Idle, That is the Question

It is that time of the year when many motorists let their vehicle “warm up” or idle before driving. In fact, today’s modern cars are ready to drive in cold temperatures without excessive idling, says the Car Care Council.

“Unless you are trying to defrost the windshield or warm the interior of your car, idling is not required for today’s vehicles,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “In most cases, idling longer than 30 seconds is unnecessary. The best way to warm up your car’s engine is to drive gently at the start. Remember, a vehicle gets zero miles per gallon when idling and the result is lower fuel economy and wasted money.”

The idea of idling before driving dates back to when cars were built with carburetors. With new fuel-injection technology, complex computer systems and thinner synthetic oils, drivers don’t need to warm up their cars before hitting the road.

Winter Car Care Tips- Warming UpAccording to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “When a car idles for more than 30 seconds, it has several negative effects, such as increasing air pollution unnecessarily, wasting fuel and money, and causing excessive wear or even damaging a car’s engine components, including cylinders, spark plugs, and the exhaust system. Contrary to popular belief, idling isn’t an effective way to warm up most car engines.”

The non-profit Car Care Council has a free 80-page Car Care Guide for motorists that features several pages of fuel economy and environmental awareness tips. Available in English and Spanish, the popular guide uses easy-to-understand everyday language rather than technical automotive jargon, fits easily in a glove box and can be ordered by visiting http://www.carcare.org/car-care-guide.

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a free copy of the council’s popular Car Care Guide or for more information, visit http://www.carcare.org.

As read on: http://www.carcare.org/2015/01/idle-idle-question/

Top 5 Car De-Icing Myths

Impatient drivers trying to remove ice from windshields often discover creative ways to break the glass. Top five vehicle de-icing myths:

1. Pouring hot water on the vehicle’s windshield and windows will melt the ice. It might melt the ice, but it can also shatter the windshield due to the extreme temperature change.

2. Tap the ice on the car windshield with a hammer to break the ice into pieces to pick off the glass. If that doesn’t work, hammer on a screwdriver or ice pick. This usually results in an impact hole or a large crack.

3. Scrape the ice off the truck windshield with a metal ice scraper, key, spatula, utility knife or crowbar. The metal either scratches or cuts grooves in the glass.

4. Use a propane torch to melt the ice. Not only is this dangerous to the torchbearer, but this also can unintentionally melt the glass from the high temperature of the torch.

5. Pour or spray a mixture of vinegar and water on the windshield so that it freezes to the glass before the rain does, thereby preventing ice. Unfortunately, vinegar eats pits into the windshield glass.

These ideas might work however they will ultimately cost you more money in repair costs. Below is a list of the proper ways to de-ice your car and windows. In the winter months it is just safer, and more cost effective to allow extra time to properly warm your vehicle.

1. Check to make sure no ice or snow is obstructing the vehicle’s tailpipe. If it is covered, the ice or snow must be removed to prevent the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning inside the vehicle.

2. If the car door is frozen shut with ice, pour cold water to gradually melt the ice and use a plastic ice scraper to carefully chip a crack in the ice around the door seal and the lock. Do not try to “unseal” the door by using a hair dryer, cigarette lighter, ice pick, screwdriver, propane torch or portable heater.

3. Start the vehicle and use the defroster setting to warm the glass. Wait at least five minutes for the car to start to warm up.

4. When the ice in contact with the windshield is melting, use a plastic ice scraper and a soft plastic bristle brush or broom to clear the ice. A squeegee also helps.

There are de-icing products on the market that may shorten the time it takes to melt the ice, but the results vary based on weather situations. Again, the best plan is to make extra time to properly warm and de-ice your car or if you lucky to have an indoor parking spot, use that during the winter months!

Tips found on: http://www.pitchengine.com/glassdoctor/glass-doctor-busts-top-5-car-deicing-myths-saves-windshields