The winter is hard on everyone, even vehicles. You will want to make sure you inspect your car on a regular basis to ensure everything is working efficiently. The first think you will want to do is check the battery, because it can die in the cold weather. You should also test it, because this will prevent going out to your car and finding a dead battery. Keeping vehicles in a garage is one definite way to ensure they will start in subzero conditions. However, if you don’t have access to a garage, it’s important to check the battery on a regular basis. A typical battery can last an average of about three years and usually can handle the cold. Extreme cold pulls voltage from a battery, making it harder for your car to start.
The fluids will also become thicker when the temperatures drop. Check all your fluids. This includes oil, antifreeze, power steering, brake and transmission fluids. When it gets cold, fluids thicken and that will make it harder for your car to get the fluids it need to run properly. Transmission fluid in particular needs to flow quickly, and your car won’t function if it flows at a slow pace.
Cold temperatures also affect the tires. Most tires lose 1 pound per square inch (psi) for every 10 F of temperature drop. So, checking inflation as the air gets colder is critical. For example, a fully inflated tire at 70 F is five psi under-inflated at 20 F. Under-inflated tires do not perform well and are subject to damage or failure especially in snow and icy conditions.
Remember to check the windshield wipers and wiper fluid in your vehicle. Make sure to clean the windshield of your car before turning on your wipers. A lot of wiper problems come from windshields not being cleared first and then being turned on. The blades get torn and wiper transmissions break because extreme weather can overpower the freezing point of the washer fluid. They are just rubber and pressure from snow, ice and slush will break them. If you start to notice that the windshield wipers are wearing, they should be replaced as soon as possible. This can help improve your visibility when you drive as well.