The importance of vehicle tune-ups can never be overstated but as it gets colder towards the end of the year, a tune-up is one of the best things you can do for your vehicle to help prepare it for the extreme weather and driving conditions that winter brings. The winter temperatures can actually magnify existing problems in your vehicle like the occasional pings, hard starts, sluggish acceleration and performance or rough and bumpy idling along with other various ticks along the way as well.
By just getting an occasional tune-up your vehicle will be restored back to a normal operating state while also increasing the overall efficiency both in the emissions system along with improving the fuel efficiency.
Here are just a few tips and the benefits that they have when getting a tune up either from professionals or if you’re just making a few adjustments and improvements to prepare for the winter months.
- Keep the Gas Tank Half Full– Making sure that your gas tank is constantly at least half full is a way to limit any build up of condensation. This will also help reduce gas-line freezing. You can also add a little gas-line antifreeze every other fill up to further reduce the risk of gas-line freezing.
- Windshield Wipers– Old cracked and torn windshield wiper blades should be replaced immediately. If they chatter when on, leave streaks or don’t properly clean your windshield, then it’s important to change them to help keep your vision clear when driving. Some companies will make special blades that are winter specific and have a rubber boot on the arm that will help to keep snow and ice out and avoid buildup. When you do change the blades, keeping the wiper system nozzles clean and adjusted while also checking the windshield washer reservoir will ensure that your wipers are prepared for the weather.
- Cooling System– It may sound counterintuitive for the winter, but making sure your cooling system’s concentration of coolant and amount of coolant will protect the cooling system from any occurrence of corrosion. In most areas of the US, a 50/50 mixture of water and coolant will lubricate the water pump and will prevent the coolant from freezing but in areas of extreme cold, you may want to increase the concentration of coolant but never exceeding 70% coolant to 30% water. Another important factor to consider: your coolant should be flushed completely and refilled every two years in most vehicles. The fresh coolant will limit corrosion and build up as well and will help you avoid any performance issues that can occur within the cooling system.
- Check Your Battery– Having your battery and the battery charging system in your vehicle checked for optimum performance may not seem essential to winter driving but ensuring high performance from both can save you extreme hassles in the worst weather situations. Very cold temperatures can actually reduce the battery power of a vehicle so by ensuring that your battery connections are clean, tight and corrosion free, you’ll reduce a large risk of battery issues at the worst possible time. Batteries unfortunately don’t give warning signs before failing completely either, so if your battery is 3 years old or older, it may be time to just completely replace it. You can always consult your vehicle’s manual for exact factory suggested maintenance but eliminating risks is a great way to minimize your hazards and issues when driving in cold weather.
The wintertime brings a lot of cold weather and storms of both snow and rain and while many people enjoy the season, just about nobody enjoys driving in those extreme conditions. Staying alert and exercising extreme caution when driving under those conditions will help keep you and other drivers safer. Another way to reduce the risk of incident is by regularly scheduling tune-ups for your vehicle. The cold can have drastic effects on your vehicle so by ensuring that your car is current and up to date with everything from internal components to the windshield wipers and heating and cooling systems will go a long way to preventing any unfortunate performance issues at the worst possible time. To prepare for East Coast winters in the Brooklyn and Manhattan areas, call Bay Diagnostic and schedule a tune-up today.