Winter seems to come a little late in Central Texas (anyone who lives in San Marcos or New Braunfels can vouch that this is fairly common), but colder days are finally set to arrive.
We’ve put together some tips to help prepare for the potentially cooler temperatures so you don’t find yourself stranded on the highway from a malfunction caused by cold weather.
First Things First: Check Your Battery
Cold weather can have a noticeable effect on your vehicle’s battery. Cold temperatures can slow essential chemical reactions that your battery uses to generate the power necessary to get your car up and running. If you’ve ever experienced the unpleasantness of trying to start your car on a cold winter morning only to be greeted with a car that wont turn over, you know all to well the hassle this can cause.
Now’s the time to have a mechanic run a battery load test to check your battery’s health. Even if it passes the test, your mechanic can clean any corrosion that might have built up and replenish any distilled water if necessary… so it’s a win-win as far as proper vehicle maintenance goes.
Check Your Car’s Tire Pressure
Cold weather can reduce the pressure in your car’s tires. A general rule of thumb is that for every 10 degree drop in the temperature, the pressure in your tire will drop approximately 1 psi. Keeping your tires inflated to the manufacturer recommended levels ensures your tires achieve their best traction while driving down the road, which is crucial for safe trips.
Anti-Freeze is Crucial
While pumping pure distilled water through your car’s radiator is generally fine, when the weather starts to cool it’s important to get a 50/50 mix of water & anti-freeze. This is crucial so the water that keeps your car cool doesn’t freeze up when temperatures reach sub-freezing levels.
Keep Your Oil Fresh
The colder the weather, the less effective the oil in your car is. Colder weather means thicker oil, and thick oil doesn’t circulate nearly as well as thin oil. Your best bet is to consult your car’s manual, which usually discusses proper oil viscosity levels for different temperatures and climates.
Inspect Your Belts & Hoses
The belts and hoses that keep your car running can be weakened by cooler temperatures. A quick glance by either yourself or a professional (if you aren’t sure what you’re looking for) should be sufficient to determine the current state of these essential belts and hoses. Be sure to inspect them, or else you may find yourself on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck to come pick you up.
If you follow the above steps, you’ll reduce the risk of running into troubles on the road as the weather cools down. However, if you find yourself in a bind and are in need of roadside assistance or towing to get your car to a local repair shop, be sure to have a reliable towing company in mind. If you’re looking for friendly and affordable towing services in San Marcos, Tx or New Braunfels, be sure to give Will Tow a call and we’ll be happy to get you taken care of as quickly as possible.