Winterizing Your Car

By: Mike Mueller
By: Mike Mueller

The colder it is the worse it can get for your car but putting snow tires on just isn't enough. You have to first start under the hood, checking things like anti-freeze, oil, and also your belts and hoses.

"You can feel them, make sure they're not soft, deteriorated or have bubbles on them or anything like that," says Gary Barnes of Jenkins Automotive in Staunton. "The belt rubber, you can feel it. If it feels brittle, or has cracks in it, you should replace it."

But what's even more important when prepping your car for winter is checking out your anti-freeze.

"Usually you want a 50/50 mix of whatever coolant your car recommends. There are several different types," says Barnes.

You can find that information by simply checking your car manual or by asking your service station. Also, it's usually a good idea this time of year to flush out your coolant and while you're there...

"You might want to use lighter oil in the winter so it can turn over easier. When the cold starts it will be easier with a lighter viscosity or oil," says Barnes.

And last but not least.

"You want an aggressive tire for snow," adds Barnes. "Fairly aggressive knobs."

You want those knobs to be deep along the outside of the tire to get better grip when that white stuff falls. Also, make sure that your Die Hard doesn't die on you and let your car warm up before driving it off.


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