As the days grow shorter, the weather becomes more unpredictable. To make sure you're ready to travel in any type of winter weather, check the following things on your car before the first winter storm hits.
1. Tire Pressure
Proper tire pressure allows your vehicle to drive with an optimal amount of traction and performance. When tires are under-inflated, your tires become overloaded, which results in excess heat and tire failure. Tire failure unfortunately means that a tire can completely give out without warning. Researchers have found that in comparison to vehicles with properly inflated tires, vehicles with tires that were under-inflated by at least 25% were three times more likely to be involved in a crash relating to tire problems. Under-inflation is common in the winter, as for every 10 degrees (Fahrenheit) drop in temperature, your pressure drops one or two pounds per square inch.
You can check your tire pressure at most gas stations and then inflate them to the pressure recommended for your vehicle and the tire manufacturer, or you can stop by your local mechanic and have them take care of it in just a few minutes.
2. Tire Tread
Treads, or the grooves that run along your tires, are strong indicators of how well your car will perform in rain and snow. With too little tread (below 2/32"), your tires won't be able to channel away any water on the ground and will end up sliding, or hydroplaning, down the road. Worn out tires also have difficulty maintaining traction on snow or ice, which makes sliding off the road or through a stop sign much more likely.
Your mechanic can either change your tires or recommend a reputable company that can change your tires for you. Depending on your climate, professionals may recommend all-weather or snow tires for the upcoming winter because of their increased traction.
3. Car Battery
Cold weather may inhibit a battery's ability to charge your vehicle. When batteries are exposed to cold weather, the chemical reactions that generate the electric current run more slowly. As a result, your engine cranks more slowly and may even fail to start. Even though car batteries can recharge themselves to some extent, they can lose power just like your household batteries can. For the most part, car batteries last about four years. After that point, your car may fail to start on any given day, especially in the winter.
You can have your battery tested and replaced by a local mechanic, who will also make sure the battery posts are free of corrosion. Corrosion is the crusty white residue that builds up the metal of the battery terminals and can interfere with how well your battery connects with your engine. Even if your battery is running well, the mechanic can clean off the corrosion and ensure that your battery will be transmitting as much energy as it can to your engine.
Checking out these three things with your local mechanic can keep you from getting stranded during the next storm. While the weather is unpredictable, your vehicle's performance doesn't need to be.
For more information, contact Integrity Auto and Truck or a similar company.Share
28 October 2014
About six months ago, I could tell that our car was really starting to have some problems. It was always acting up, it never seemed to run well, and I was always worried about it not starting up when it needed to. One day, I got stranded on the side of the road when I was on my way to work, and I realized that I needed to find a new car immediately. I took the day off to look for a new car, and I learned a lot about automotive shopping during the process. Check out this blog for more information about finding a great car.