Winter Maintenance Tips for Your Vehicle

Even in Southern California, each season of weather brings different maintenance needs for your personal or commercial vehicles. While some of these maintenance steps can easily be performed at home, you’ll want some to be done by trained professionals at an Orange complete auto repair service.

Watch Your Oil

Firstly, be sure to change the oil. If you haven’t already, winter can be a good time to switch from conventional to synthetic oil if it’s appropriate for your vehicle. Cold weather starts will be easier on the engine with entirely synthetic oil, as synthetic oil flows freer at low temperatures and doesn’t require any warm-up time. You can also try a blend of synthetic and conventional oil, but be sure to consult your Orange auto repair shop as to whether that’s the right choice for your vehicle.

Keep The Lights On

Next, maintain your battery. The heat of summer takes its toll on automotive batteries, and by winter, batteries are typically on their last legs. Schedule a battery and charging system test at your auto repair service in Orange, and replace the battery if it is too weak. If you live in a cold area or drive infrequently, you can also consider investing in a maintainer or trickle charger for the battery. This is because the battery has to work harder in colder weather, and it gradually loses power over time if it isn’t in use. You can also disconnect the battery from the vehicle to prevent power draws, but doing so can cause you to lose memory presets like radio stations and navigational info.

Maintain Tire Pressure

Tire pressure is a consideration all year long, but even more so during the winter months as the temperature drops. This is because tires lose a pound of pressure for every ten degrees the temperature falls. Driving on underinflated tires causes them to wear down prematurely, hurts your fuel economy, and makes them lose traction on slippery surfaces. It’s a good idea to check your tire pressure weekly and get them refilled if they drop below the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Stay Topped Off

While they may not initially appear to have much in common, you’ll want to keep both your gasoline and your washer fluid tanks full. A full gas tank stops accumulated water from freezing inside the fuel pump, which will interfere with engine operation. Meanwhile, washer fluid is critical for getting rid of dirt and debris that gets deposited on your windshield after harsh weather. Driving without washer fluid accessible can be dangerous if your view becomes unexpectedly obstructed.

Keeping Warm, and Staying Cool

Lastly, inspect your radiator cap and thermostat. The radiator cap is a critical part of the heating and cooling system of the car; it keeps antifreeze where it should be inside the vehicle and keeps the entire cooling system pressurized, which raises the boiling point of the coolant. A leaking radiator cap can cause the engine to overheat and antifreeze to leak. Have your auto repair technician inspect it, or see for yourself if the cap is leaking. Alternatively, if the radiator cap is several years old, it’s probably time for a replacement. The thermostat is another inexpensive but critical component for the HVAC system of your car, and if it fails, you may find yourself without heat on a cold morning. If the thermostat fails, this is usually because the coolant hasn’t been changed regularly, and corrosion has been allowed to build up.

No matter whether your car’s needs are simple seasonal maintenance or drastic repairs, Citywide Auto Care is the premier auto repair shop for the city of Orange. We’re dedicated to performing quick, cost-effective, and trustworthy maintenance and repair services for your vehicles, whether they’re personal automobiles or a commercial fleet. If you’d like to make us your complete auto repair solution, or just want an inspection of your vehicle, you can call us at (714) 633-4211 today to schedule an appointment.