Winter Car Tips to Keep Your Car Running Smoothly in the Cold
It wouldn’t be 2020 without a long, cold winter. For your vehicle, this means it’s especially important to prepare for the frigid temperatures with pre-winter maintenance. Winter brings its own challenges and risks for drivers with snow and ice accumulation making roads hazardous and accidents much more common. On top of all that, daylight savings time means the sun sets earlier, leaving drivers with little light as they drive home at the end of a long day. Here are five ways you can prepare your vehicle for the winter months ahead:
Change the Oil and Filter
While making sure you stay on top of changing your oil is always important, getting your winter car oil change is especially important in the winter to make sure the mechanical parts of your vehicle are getting the best lubrication possible. Synthetic oil for winter driving is generally preferred because it does a better job of keeping your engine clean, free from deposits and sludge that can negatively impact your vehicle’s performance and efficiency. Despite some popular myths, switching to synthetic oil does not harm your engine.
Check Your Battery
While your vehicle’s battery probably isn’t the most pressing thing at the moment, having a healthy battery that has been recently checked is one of the best things you can do to prepare for the winter. During the frigid weather, battery power can lose strength as the temperature decreases, leaving your vehicle unable to start. If you haven’t had your vehicle’s battery checked in a while, now is the time to take into a Hyundai service center to make sure it’s running properly.
Change Your Air Filter
Along with the other pre-winter maintenance you’ll be doing, it is a good idea to change out your air filter. Knowing whether it needs a change is fairly simple: you’ll see the darkening of the white air filter as a result of it catching dust, dirt, and debris. Discoloration can be normal over time, but if it is really dark or tattered, you’ll need to replace it.
Check Your Serpentine Belt
On even the best winter vehicles, the serpentine belt is essential. While they tend to have a longer lifespan, it is really important that they be in good working condition. You’ll know if your belt needs replacing if there are many cracks or frays on the belt or if you hear a squeaking/squealing noise under the hood. If your belt snaps, which it is wont to do in the winter, you’ll be completely unable to drive your vehicle. Replacing a serpentine belt is pretty tricky to do yourself, so it is recommended that you take your vehicle into service to have this done unless you know exactly what you’re doing because routing the new belt must be done in a precise manner.
Replace Old Wiper Blades
At the top of your list of winter auto accessories should be a wiper blade replacement. When wiper blades are old, you’ll notice streaks left on your windshield, which will be particularly dangerous in the winter when trying to see through snow and ice. Besides leaving streaks, old wipers may have cracks or cuts, as well as peeling rubber. When you see any of these signs, it is time for new wiper blades, perhaps even ones made especially for winter weather.