Tips

Steps to Help Prevent Your Car From Breaking Down in the Winter

Illinois winter nights can get freezing – temperatures in the teens. Your vehicle can handle cold weather up to a certain point, but did you know that once the temperature reaches 32 degrees or lower, your battery loses 30 percent of its power. Winter affects your automobile in a few different ways, but if you bring your vehicle into Mark’s Auto Service now, we can help prepare it for winter to prevent it from breaking down. There are things you can do, as well. Here’s what they are.

Winter and Your Car Battery

A 30 percent power loss is a lot, and if you head north to even colder temperatures, you’ll lose 60 percent of your battery power. How your battery generates, voltage is what affects its power in the winter. The best thing you can do to ensure you don’t end up with a dead battery due to the cold-weather power loss is to replace your automobile’s battery if it’s older than three years of age and keep your vehicle parked inside the garage as much as you can. We can test your battery now to make sure it has the ability to store a charge and generate enough power to function through any power reduction.

Winter and Your Radiator

Your radiator can freeze when the temperatures are freezing outside, which is why it is important to make certain you have fresh antifreeze in the cooling system and plenty of it. Antifreeze has additives that prevent it from freezing, even if it is parked outside all night on a cold winter night, and a frozen radiator will seize up the cooling system and crack the system lines. An antifreeze flush and refill may be in store now, as is an oil change. Synthetic motor oil, or even a synthetic blend, protects your engine better in cold weather because it has additives to help it remain viscous no matter how cold it is outside.

Winter and Your Tires

Finally, you know it isn’t safe to drive on icy and wet roads with bald tires. You’ll hydroplane and cause an accident. Fall is the perfect time to get new tires if you need them. New tire tread is designed to funnel water and cut through the ice to ensure your tires always have a solid grip on the roadways. If your tires are fine, they should still be rotated and balanced if this service is due, and you should consider a wheel alignment if it’s been a couple of years since you had one. All of these things make it easier to control your car, truck, or SUV in inclement weather when the roads are slick and dangerous.

Mark’s Auto Service offers fall vehicle maintenance services to our customers in Rockford or Loves Park, IL, to ready their automobiles for winter weather. 

Photo by Vadimguzhva from Getty Images via Canva Pro