Winterizing Guide for Californians
Do I really need to winterize my car, even though it doesn’t snow here?
The short answer is yes! Cold temperatures make it more difficult for an engine to work properly. Rain, especially in times of drought, limit traction grip for your tires. When it only rains sporadically this makes the roads even more slick because there is more oil and other foreign debris that don’t mix well with water. If there’s heavier rains, this too can be a hazard as it tends to increse the amount of, and the size of, potholes.
Here are some quick tips on how you can be better prepared for the season change:
1. Check Your Tire Pressure!
Simple, right? Many people know properly inflated tires can save you gas money, but what you may not know is that the manufacturer of your vehicle has taken great pains to find out what PSI should be used for your particular make/model/year. This information is printed on the driver’s side door jam. Do not go off of the PSI recommendations printed on your tire, that is the MAXIMUM amount of pressure the tire can hold. If over-inflated a tire will not have the best possible contact surface with the road.
2. Check Your Tires Age
The week and year your tire was made is printed on the tire’s side wall, usually in what looks like a bubble, in small print. If you’re unable to find this information you can always drop by our shop and we will check this for you. Tire tread is not the only measurement of a sound tire. As tires age they begin to crack, and the wear isn’t always visible. As the weather cools down, this will rapidly increase the rate in which the rubber will deteriorate, which may lead to a blow-out down the line.
3. Check Your Battery
If your battery is more than 3 years old, have it tested by a certified automotive repair shop. Very cold weather can reduce your battery’s power by 50%!
4. Check the Antifreeze Mixture
Whereas us Californians aren’t at risk of coolant freezing internally, it is still important to ensure the mixture is 50/50. Over time the coolant’s ratio will start to contain more water than antifreeze, which can compromise the coolant’s ability to properly cool an engine. The rapid fluctuation of the engine’s temperature (typically 200 degrees faranheit) and the ambient temperature will affect the performance of your engine.
As always if you have ANY questions at all feel free to call us! We’re available Monday – Friday 8:00am – 5:30pm.