How to Winterize Your Vehicle

One of the procedures which a vehicle owner should be most familiar with is the so-called winterizing. This is a sequence of steps to be taken before winter moves in every year in order to prepare your car for the coming winter conditions.

As the winter season in the state of Washington is notoriously severe, drivers should approach this procedure with the utmost attention. Surely, you wouldn’t want to be stranded in the deep snow by the side of the road at 35 degrees (or sometimes even less!), or experience something even worse as a result of a neglected safety issue.

Our certified and experienced mechanics here at Autoworks of Issaquah are ready to lend you a hand with the preparation of your vehicle for the coming season. We are going to go through several steps that will ensure your safety and peace of mind while on the wet or snowy Washington roads.

First of all, it would be a good idea to take care of your car’s battery, as it is probably the most important factor in the ignition sequence of a vehicle. Due to low temperatures, a car battery may lose no less than 50% of its power. If your battery is about five years old or older, it would most probably need replacement. If not, it must at least be checked thoroughly - our technicians will check if it holds charge, as well as examine all cables and connections for wear or corrosion.

The second thing you should make sure is ready for the wet and slippery roads is your tires. Tire pressure, for example, can drop significantly as a result of low temperatures, so it must be checked regularly. Another important thing is tread depth because that is what prevents your car from slipping and skidding on wet and snow-covered roads. As there is profuse snowfall in the mountains of Washington in winter, the installation of snow tires would be a good idea, too.

Another important thing is motor oil. In cold weather oil tends to thicken, so an oil change is a must. What you need is motor oil with lower viscosity - you can either consult your owner’s manual for the exact type, or bring your vehicle to us at Autoworks of Issaquah. Our knowledgeable mechanics will replace your oil filter, too.

Yet another thing you have to take into account is a system check - have your headlights, tail lights, indicators, as well as belts and hoses, inspected by one of our technicians. Driving around with dim lights in the murky winter days is not a good idea, and a faulty belt can leave you in the middle of nowhere.

A coolant check is also among the most important things in your preparation for winter - have the composition of your coolant checked by a mechanic and top it up, if necessary.

You should also have a look at the windshield wipers of your vehicle. Those should usually be replaced every other year but if you think the wiper blades won’t make it through this winter, replace them now. There are winter-specific wiper blades that you may find quite useful in the cold and snow of Washington’s mountains. And one more thing connected with windshield wipers - check the wiper fluid, too. Replace it with a non-freezing one, or top it up if necessary.

Last but not least - pay attention to safety kits and the like. It is good to have the following things in you car:

  • First Aid Kit
  • Tool Kit
  • Tire Chains
  • Tire Changing Tools (jack, lug wrench, etc.)
  • Jumper cables
  • Defrosting fluid
  • Blanket
  • Snacks and water
  • Flashlight

If you need further information and advice about how to most properly prepare your car for the harsh weather in Washington, please contact the helpful and experienced auto mechanics at Autoworks of Issaquah.

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