Frigid winter temperatures are just around the corner, so now’s the time to shift into gear and prep your vehicle. Cold weather is hard on your vehicle and its engine. What can you do now to protect your vehicle’s engine and ensure it is reliable during the winter?
Change Your Oil
Dirty oil is bad for your vehicle’s engine at any time of the year but especially so in the winter. Dirty oil is thick as it is, but cold temperatures will make the oil become even thicker. Since thick, viscous oil won’t flow through the engine properly, getting an oil change before temperatures drop is a good idea. In the winter, your engine will run more effectively with thinner engine oil.
Check Your Coolant
One important consideration for engine coolant is the level of antifreeze. If there is too much water in your cooling system, the liquid could freeze in cold weather, blocking coolant flow and leading your engine to overheat. Make sure the system contains at least a 50% mixture of antifreeze. If the anti-freeze levels are off, it won’t be able to prevent your engine, radiator, or hoses from freezing.
Check Belts and Hoses
Cold temperatures can weaken the belts and hoses that help make your engine run. Check for cracks and any wear-and-tear.
Check Your Fuel Filter
The fuel filter helps keep your engine running smoothly by straining foreign particles of the gas. A dirty fuel filter will reduce fuel efficiency and can cause the engine to run on less fuel than it should, making it difficult to start. No one wants their engine to be difficult to start in the winter—make sure your fuel filter is clean!
Let Your Engine Warm Up
Once the cold winter temperatures have arrived, allow your vehicle to idle and warm for at least 30 seconds before driving. This brief period of idling time before you drive will give the engine oil a chance to heat up, thin out, and flow smoothly. After you are done idling, drive your vehicle gently until all engine components come up to temperature.
Check Your Engine’s Overall Health
Take your vehicle in for an annual check-up. Have an auto mechanic check your fluid levels, spark plugs, hoses and belts, air intake, air filter, and your engine’s overall health. Ensuring your engine is running its best helps you avoid expensive repairs and breakdowns later this winter.
Is your engine running sub-par? Crossley Machine knows how to help. To learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment, call us at (570)-784-1661 or email us at [email protected]