10 Essential Winter Car Care Tips
Icy roads, malfunctioning parts, and poor visibility are just a few of the challenges you might encounter when the temperature starts to drop. Winters can be fierce in the Jersey City area, but a little bit of preparation can go a very long way. Our team has collected ten of the most essential winter car tips to help you survive and thrive during the year’s harshest months.
Prepare for Winter: Car Tips and Tricks
- Know when to equip winter tires. High-performance and all-season tires tend to harden whenever the temperature drops, and this has a dramatic impact on their ability to grip the road. As soon as the temperature drops below 45 degrees, swap out your summer set for winter tires that will keep you moving forward. (Hint: Ignore the highs and lows, and pay attention to the temperature during the times when you’re normally on the road.)
- Check your tire pressure more often, even once per week. Your TPMS should tell you when your pressure is too low, but if you care about traction and tire life, it pays to be cautious. We normally recommend that drivers check their tire pressure at least once per month, but since every 10-degree drop in temperature can reduce your tire pressure by 1 PSI, more consistent checks and refills can be beneficial. Pressure gauges are available at our parts department. (Hint: Check your pressure before you start to drive, since friction can cause the air in your tires to heat up and expand.)
- Check (and if necessary, replace) your battery before winter. Freezing temperatures can suck the last bit of life out of a dying battery, leaving you stranded. Before the snow starts falling, schedule a battery inspection at our dealership or—if it’s been a few years—pick up a high-quality replacement battery at our parts department.
- Keep your fuel tank at least half full. If your gas tank is low on fuel, water is more likely to freeze inside your fuel pump. Additionally, the more gas you have in your vehicle, the longer you’ll be able to stay warm if you happen to become stranded.
- Keep your windows clear. Windshield wipers generally only last around six months before they need to be replaced, and picking up a new set before winter can help you retain excellent visibility all season. What’s more, you should never drive if your ability to see through your windows is compromised by snow and ice. Keep a cleaning tool (and a set of warm gloves) somewhere accessible in your vehicle.
- Check your climate control and defrosting systems. Your climate control and air conditioning systems can help to keep your windows from fogging up, and your defroster will be necessary when ice starts to crystallize on your front windshield or rear window. Test both systems as soon as the temperature allows you to do so, and schedule service if you aren’t satisfied by the results.
- Make sure that your lights are working properly. Even if you have solid visibility from the driver’s seat, low-quality headlamps, taillamps, or turn signals can make you—and everyone else around you—less safe. Check all of your lights on a monthly basis and have them cleaned or replaced at our dealership, as needed.
- Protect your exterior with polymer wax and regular washes. A fresh coat of polymer wax can help to protect your vehicle’s body from the elements, and from the potentially damaging effects of road salt. Speaking of the latter, it’s a very good idea to get a high-pressure car wash at least once per month during the winter. Make sure to spray the underside of your vehicle to clear that road salt away!
- Check, flush, and refill your coolant. Your coolant keeps your engine from overheating, but it also prevents freezing! Most experts recommend a 50/50-split of coolant and water to ensure that your coolant’s freezing point is as low as possible. If you’re not sure which coolant to use—note that some come ‘pre-mixed’ with coolant and water—or you need help flushing your tank, you can rely on our service team in Englewood. (HInt: Coolant is especially important, but it’s a good idea to check all of your vehicle’s fluids, including your motor oil.)
- Build a winter car emergency kit. No one wants to envision a scenario where they become stranded, but everyone should prepare for the worst-case scenario. You should always keep a winter car emergency kit with blankets, flares, a reserve power bank for your phone, and other essentials. You should also have the number for Jaguar Roadside Assistance (or a provider of your choice) written down somewhere inside your vehicle.
Our winter car tips and tricks are designed to help you get started and enjoy an easier season, but you can always contact our team or visit our service center if you’re looking for an expert opinion.
Take Action with These Winter Care Tips!
When you take advantage of our winter care tips, you’ll be able to handle anything that Fort Lee or New York City can throw at you. Save on winterization services by claiming one of our current service specials and parts coupons today!
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