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 increase the amount of, and the size of, potholes. Vehicles respond differently to the weather just like us, so they need special maintenance at the change of all major seasons.
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. What you may not know is that the best way to maintain functionality of the tires for the longest period of time is to check the pressure between oil changes. The manufacturer of your vehicle has taken great pains to find out what PSI should be used for the vehicle’s 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.
Decipher the numbers on your tire!
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. Maintain 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 maintain a mixture of 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 Fahrenheit) 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.