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Preparing your car for the big chill

(ARA) – A few minutes in the garage before the bitter cold hits could help prevent a more time-consuming and unpleasant experience during the winter. Cold weather will only make existing problems worse, according to the experts at the nonprofit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). It’s a good idea to read the owner’s manual and follow the manufacturer’s recommended service schedules.

Here are a few more winter car tips that are easy and simple to do:

CAR-Prepare-for-bigh-chill2* Tires – Worn tires can be extremely dangerous in rain, snow and on ice. Examine tires for remaining tread life and uneven wearing. Be sure to check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks as well. All-season radials or winter tires are a wise investment for those who must drive in inclement weather regularly. Check tire pressure and rotate the tires as recommended. Don’t forget to check your spare and be sure the jack functions properly.

* Cooling system – Regularly check the level, condition and concentration of the coolant. A 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water is usually recommended. Check hoses for cracks and leaks.

* Windshield wipers – Check wiper blades and replace them if needed. Rubber-clad blades can fight ice buildup. Stock up on windshield washer solvent. If you don’t have an ice scraper, get one before you need it.

* Battery – If your battery is beyond its recommended service life, replace it. Top any low battery cells with distilled water. Clean and tighten battery terminals to ensure electricity gets to the starter on chilly mornings. If there’s corrosion, clean it with a mixture of baking soda and water and put on a set of battery washers to keep corrosion from coming back. Make sure the battery terminals and hold-downs are tight. Clean and lubricate hinges and the hood latch.

CAR-Prepare-for-big-chill1* Fuel – It’s important to keep gas lines from freezing in cold weather. A full gas tank will help keep moisture and ice from forming. Particularly cold weather may warrant a fuel deicer. A block heater is another option that is fairly inexpensive and easy to use.

* Motor oil – The easiest way to protect and improve the performance of your car is to upgrade to a high-performance synthetic motor oil and change the oil regularly. Synthetic motor oils have better low-temperature fluidity and a lower coefficient of friction than mineral-based motor oils. This helps ensure easier start-ups on cold weather days. Some motor oils, such as Royal Purple, are actually formulated with molecules that chemically bond with engine components for continuous engine protection. Additionally, Royal Purple motor oil has been shown to improve fuel economy, reduce emissions and increase horsepower and torque.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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