AutoTips Winter Tips page
Some tips and reminders for winter car operation.
There are dry stick lubricants for the door, trunk, and hood latches. These come in a tube and push out from one end. One company that sells the lubricant (as well as other auto care products ) is Panef.
Electrical system: When the temperature drops, the capacity of a battery drops. Oil thickens requiring more power from the starter to turn over the engine. This puts a heavier load on the battery, and the alternator. In most areas of the US, shorter daylight hours mean the headlights will be on for longer periods of time, and if the alternator is a bit marginal in it's output, it may not be able to keep the battery charged with the extra load of headlights, defroster / heater fan. The rear window heater / defroster in most cars draw high currents, and should only be left on long enough to defrost the rear window. For more information on checking the electrical system, see the battery tips section on the AutoTips main Tips page, or the AutoTips Alternator page.
|Windows: Windows treated with products such as
Rain-x can make scraping light ice easier. Remember to check the window
washer cleaner solution to be sure it is the winter kind. Some is sold
in bottles that look similar but say "summer mix". Most products
for winter are rated to -20 degrees F, although there seems to be variation
among brands as to how cold they can actually be used before freezing.
Anco sells some winter blades that have part of the support arms covered
with rubber to keep snow and ice out of the windshield wiper support assembly.
Also remember to put the ice scrapers inside the car. There are a number of manufacturers of ice scrapers, including Hoppy.
Wiper Blades - clean and check them, lightly lubricate the pivot points of the support arms.
Foggy windows are covered in the AutoTips Defrosting Tips page.
Anti Freeze Tips: An anti-freeze tester is available
at most auto parts stores for a few dollars that can be used to check the
freezing point of your anti-freeze / water mixture in your car. Most auto
makers recommend a 50% anti-freeze / 50% water mixture of coolant. For
ethylene - glycol anti-freeze (the most common type), the freeze point
of the mixture will drop as the percentage of antifreeze is increased,
up to about 70%. Above 70% anti-freeze, the freezing point actually goes
back up, so you should not go less than 30% water in the mixture. In the
summer time, 70% anti-freeze has higher boiling point than 50% mix, but
actually carries less heat away, so it is best to go with what the manufacturer
recommends. NOTE: Some of the low cost anti-freeze testers can be misleading
on the freeze point over 70%. It will probably go off scale because of
the way they work.
TIRES: Air pressure in the tire drops as the air cools. If your tire pressure was ok in the summer, it may be low in the winter. Dunlop tires has articles about the subject of temperature of tires as well as other good articles at the web site Dunlop Tires - Tire Care Tips and there is also information is available at the Rubber Manufacturers Association.
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