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Winter Isn’t Over - Don’t Disregard Car Winter Maintenance

It may be February, but anyone who lives in Iowa knows the weather can change dramatically. One day temperatures can be a balmy 65 degrees and overnight they could dip to 35 degrees or lower and bring snow or ice. This dramatic shift in temperature alone can be hard on your car.

Car maintenance is critical to keeping your vehicle in good shape no matter the season, but it is especially important in the winter since car drivers face more challenges on the road. Every time you change your engine oil at the recommended mileage interval, make sure you or the auto technician checks the lights, brakes, mirrors, windshield and other safety items.

In the winter, regularly check the following:

  • Check tire pressure. Tires are very important, especially when temperatures change dramatically. During winter, tire pressure can drop when the temperatures get very cold.
  • Check the tire tread. Make sure your car tires have sufficient tread, so they have traction during snowy conditions. Consider replacing your tires with snow tires.
  • Test the car battery. Make sure the car battery can maintain a full charge. Cold temperatures reduce battery power. Auto experts say it takes twice the battery power to start a car engine during cold weather than warm weather. A car battery loses 35 percent of its power at 30 degrees and lose 60 percent of its power at 0 degrees.
  • Check the antifreeze. The mixture of anti-freeze to water should be fifty/fifty to prevent the coolant from freezing.
  • Check windshield wipers. It is important to be able to see when driving in the snow or rain, so replace your vehicle’s windshield wipers If they are cracked or leave streaks. Make sure you have enough windshield washer fluid, and that it is freeze resistant.
  • Check belts and hoses. Cold weather can cause stress on your car’s belts and hoses. If they are worn, replace them.
  • Keep your fuel tank half full.  It is always good to keep your fuel tank at least half full, especially in the winter in case of an emergency or if you get stuck in the snow and need to wait for rescue.
  • Keep winter essentials in your car. These include a safety kit, a blanket, flashlight, jumper cables, water. You don’t want to get stranded on the road in the winter.

The coronavirus and the cold weather may deter some car owners from not only foregoing car maintenance, but also driving their car. Car owners should drive their car at least every two weeks and long enough to get the engine warm. Car experts warn if a car is not driven for a long time, you could end up with a dead battery, flat-spots on your car tires, and other issues.

When in the market for a used car, stop by Carousel Preowned.  Carousel Preowned serving Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, North Liberty, Marion, and Coralville, IA, is proud to be an automotive leader in our community. We do our best to ensure your complete satisfaction every time you step into our car dealership. This is why we offer the widest selection of used and pre-owned cars, trucks, and SUVs and provide true ease of purchase in Iowa.