Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Cold and Your Car

It seems that this winter has been extremely cold for most of the US.  We had a cold snap come on early in the winter season here and it never seemed to go away.  I am worried what February is going to be like considering it's been so cold and snowy since November.  Since most of us are experiencing this, I want to impart a little experience when it comes to your vehicle and these extreme temperatures.

Here are a few things that you can do to help your vehicle during extreme cold weather.

  • Continue to perform your regular maintenance services
  • Monitor your tire wear, tread, and pressure
  • Check your fluids and rubber components (belts and hoses) in between services
  • Take it into a repair facility if something starts making a funny noise or you notice a change
  • When you first get into your vehicle, turn the key to "ON" but do not crank the starter.  Let it sit on for 30 seconds (while you adjust your seat, play with the radio, and buckle your seat belt.)  Then crank it to start the engine.  This will allow your injectors to warm up and your car will start easier.
  • There is no reason to start your car to "warm it up" if you are not going to be driving it.  Back in the days of carburetors, this may have been a helpful thing.  But with our cars, the injectors don't need that.  Only start your car and "warm it up" if you plan to drive it.  By turning it on for a period of time and then turning it off and walking away, it builds air into your fuel system which will cause more wear on your vehicle in the long run.  If you feel that you need to start it in the middle of the day, then drive it around the block before leaving your vehicle again. 

When you are going to be out on the road, it's important to be prepared for the off chance that your car may breakdown.  What I do is I take my favorite car bag (I use a Ju-ju-be BeTween or a SuperBe), and I pack it with items that I would need if stuck on the side of the road.  They are:
  • A small metal coffee can (I store all the little things inside this.)
  • A matchbook (not a lighter)
  • A small tea light candle
  • A hat, scarf, and insulated gloves
  • A small blanket
  • A bottle of water
  • Nonperishable snacks; like Clif Bar, cereal bars, nuts, etc.
If you find yourself stuck because your vehicle broke down, do not get out of your vehicle if the temperature is 10 degrees or lower.  Call 911 or an emergency provider and wait for help to come.  When the temperature is that low, you can easily get hypothermia or frostbite.

If you find yourself stuck in the snow or ice, bundle up well, call for help, and then assess what is wrong.  You can use the candle inside the empty coffee can to put behind your tire to melt the ice or snow.  This will help you get traction to get your car moved.

Drive safely, don't overdrive the conditions when there is ice or snow, and bundle up to stay warm.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to leave me a note! I love hearing from you!