How to Prepare Your Car for Winter
Many Oklahoma residents are unaware of how climate changes affect their vehicle. It is reasonable to assume that your car will not function properly without some kind of attention to its winter needs. Car preparation is crucial in ensuring the longevity of your vehicle as well as in keeping your car as safe as possible.
Accidents caused by drivers who have not prepared their car for winter weather are not uncommon.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an Oklahoma auto accident, complete the Free Case Review to the right.
Vehicle Maintenance Tips for Winter Months
There are many parts of a car that are affected by cold weather. As winter approaches, it is important for Oklahoma motorists to keep the following in mind in regards to the routine maintenance and preparedness of their vehicles.
Depending on the temperature of the engine, the type of engine oil you use changes. The temperature outside influences the temperature of your engine, so it is important to make sure that you are using the proper engine oil given the conditions. The colder the weather becomes, the thinner, less vicious oil you should be using. For example, if you use 10W-30 in warmer weather, you should consider changing to 5W-30 when the weather gets cooler. If you are unsure, consult your car manual or contact the manufacturer.
Coolant is not only used to keep your engine from overheating, but it is also used to protect your engine against corrosion. For the average motor vehicle, your engine should contain 60 percent coolant and 40 percent water in the winter. Adjusting the coolant to water ratio is an important step not to be overlooked when winterizing your car.
A thorough inspection of your battery, including terminals, cables and fluid can help to ensure that your battery is ready for cold weather. The capacity of your battery is reduced by winter weather. It is important to look over the cables for any cracks and breaks. There should be no loose terminal connections. If water levels are low, refill the battery with distilled water.
It’s also important to check the voltage on your battery to determine if it’s capable of enduring cold weather. If it is anything under 12.2V, you should consider replacing the battery entirely.
Driving in snow can be difficult and oftentimes dangerous; however it is a risk that you will probably need to take. Using proper snow tires can help to keep you safe on slick roadways. Most car manufacturers will recommend that motorists change all four tires to snow tires in the winter months.
If you don’t live off a main road, snow tires with studs may be your best option. Not only will snow tires help with fuel efficiency, they will help with maneuvering your vehicle through snow and ice.
It is common for drivers to overlook their windshield when preparing their car for winter. For best results in cleaning off cold and heavy grime, it is recommended that you use a windshield washer fluid that contains an antifreeze solution.
Car door locks can often freeze when the weather gets cold enough and will sometimes cause keys to break if you try to force them open. If you’re at home, this can usually be solved by using warm water. But what happens if you are out and you become frozen out of your vehicle? Glycerine-based de-icers, sold at discount stores, hardware stores and auto parts stores, can be used for de-icing your car. It’s a good idea to keep a tube of glycerine at home as well as at your desk at work or somewhere outside of your car that is easily accessible.
Having a vehicle emergency kit is a good idea, regardless of the time of year. By keeping the following items in the trunk of your car, you will have tools available in the event that you roll off the road due to ice or get stuck in a snow bank:
- Engine oil
- Washer fluid
Contact an Experienced Oklahoma Auto Accident Attorney
At The Edwards Law Firm, we believe that any individual who has suffered harm by the actions of another, whether through negligence or malicious intent, deserve both compassion and compensation for their ordeal.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an Oklahoma auto accident, we urge you to contact our experienced team of legal professionals to begin exploring your legal options. You may be eligible to file a claim to recover losses related to the collision, including medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
For more information on the legal rights which may be available to Oklahoma auto accident victims and their families or to schedule a confidential, no-obligation consultation with a lawyer at The Edwards Law Firm, complete the Free Case Review form on this page.