Tag Archives: winter

Winter Time Blues

[ad#Top of Post Left]I really hope everyone had a great holiday break, enjoyed eating too much, or whatever you tradition of choice requires of you.  Usually my holidays exist only to provide and receive gifts from others, followed by gorging at the kitchen table.  It’s an amazing time of the year, but when it’s over I’m left looking at all my cool stuff I get to use…when it warms up.  Which means lots of new garage and automobile toys, that will be put to better use when it breaks freezing again.

What else makes the winter time, right after the New Year, so dull for auto enthusiasts is that it’s hard to enjoy doing regular maintenance when you can’t feel your hands.  For example, my wife is due for an oil change, which is something I would normally do myself.  However, it’s just far too cold and too big a hassle for me to brave the elements, so I’ll be visiting the local speedy lube.

Because I’ll be going to the professionals I’ll also be able to skip out on some other winter time regular maintenance checkups.  For example, they will make sure the air pressure in my tires is set properly, plenty of tread to brave sudden snow storms, and top my fluid levels off.  Usually a full service oil change center will complete all of the above for a very reasonable price.  This low price becomes even more inviting when you realize all of this will be done while you are toasty in the waiting room.

So, once, maybe twice a year, I’ll leave the auto work to someone else.  Depending on how long of a winter we have headed our way, might have to stop in for another fast oil change.  Next post I’ll talk about must have items to keep in your vehicle for road trips or even grocery runs in the winter time.  Getting stuck on the side of the road in the middle of winter is no joke, so let’s plan like it.

Simple Steps To Prepare Your Auto For Winter

Leaves are changing, falling, and making for adverse conditions on the road.  Basically, this is your warning, this is natures way of saying, ‘Ready or not, here I come!’.  Winter will be arriving soon and in some places of the country may already be here, so lets talk about what you can do at home to prepare your auto for the winter months ahead.

Tires

It’s important to match a tire to the specs that the maker of your car requires.  Having a properly inflated tire, the right size, and with good grip can go a long way to keeping your car on the road during the winter.  Keeping a tire inflated properly during the winter can also be a full time job, consider this, each 10 degrees drop in temperature will cause a 1 psi drop in pressure.

Although a tire may be billed as all-season, this doesn’t make it the best tire for the winter.  These tires ultimately save the auto owner money, because there is no need to own multiple tires for the different seasons.  Just keep in mind when navigating the road ways, All Season tires are not the same as Snow Tires.

Windshield Wipers

Think windshield wipers come in handy during a rain?  A good pair of windshield wipers are a life saver during a wet snow or sleet.  Not only will it push the water off the windshield and increase visibility, but also keep water from freezing to different parts of the windshield.

I’ve found that spending a few extra dollars on a quality set of windshield wipers goes a long way.  A quality pair of blades will last longer and perform better at increased speeds, lower temperatures, and heavier rain conditions.

Prepare For Breakdowns

Kind of like a condom, better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.  A kit that helps prepare you for breakdowns on the side of the road during the winter can save lives.  In low temperatures hypothermia is a real threat, so pack extra clothing and lots of blankets.  Also, remember to bring a long flash lights, battery operated radio, and snacks.

A breakdown kit has saved lives in zero degree weather and below.  Depending on the road being traveled autos may not be frequent, which can lead to being stranded, cold, and hungry.  Keep your head, stay in the car and enjoy the kit you prepared for such occasions.  Also, cell phone chargers and water are also a good idea.  Flares are even better, just think of what you would need to signal for help at night, in low visibility, and travel safe this winter.