Indiana winters can be harsh, and motorists in the Hoosier State need to be prepared for the cold months between November and January that can have an impact on the performance and reliability of their vehicles.
Winterizing your vehicle is the smart move, as it reduces the risk that you’ll miss work, school, or other important events because of weather-related car trouble. Vehicle winterization can also improve safety and reduce the risk of a crash. Most of the tasks involved with winterizing your vehicle are fairly simple and will only take a few minutes to perform.
When preparing your vehicle for an Indiana winter, follow these steps to ensure your car, truck, or SUV stays in top condition:
- Use the right engine oil – When it’s cold outside, your engine oil will thicken. This can make it more difficult for your engine to start. During the winter months, it may be wise to use a lower weight oil. Check your owner’s manual or talk to your mechanic for recommendations regarding which oil to use during the winter months.
- Let your engine warm up after cranking – Don’t immediately put your car in gear after you crank it during the winter months. When it’s cold, give your vehicle a minute or two to idle after you crank it. This gives the oil time to warm up and flow more smoothly. This will help prevent engine problems.
- Check your battery – Cold temperatures can sap your engine battery of power. Check your battery before winter sets in to determine if it has a sufficient charge. If your battery is more than four years old, it’s probably a good idea to replace it before winter begins.
- Replace your windshield wiper blades and fluid – Use cold weather wiper fluid that won’t freeze during cold temperatures. Also be sure that your wiper blades are in good working order. Snow and ice can severely impair visibility, so you want to make sure that your wipers and wiper fluid are in good working order.
- Check your tires – Icy roads can be treacherous, especially if you have bald tires. Make sure your tires have sufficient tread, and replace them with new tires if necessary.
- Protect against salt – Many municipalities use salt to provide extra traction on their roads during the winter months. Unfortunately, this can cause vehicles to rust. You can protect your vehicle during the winter months by having it washed and waxed regularly. Also be sure to take your vehicle to a car wash that will wash the undercarriage of the vehicle, as accumulated salt in the undercarriage can cause it to deteriorate.
- Always keep your gas tank at least half full – Keeping sufficient fuel in your vehicle will help prevent gas line freeze ups. Also, running out of gas on a cold Indiana night is the last thing you want to do.
Bloomington Ford offers consumers a fun and exciting car buying experience. With a wide selection of new and pre-owned Ford cars, trucks, and SUVs, Bloomington Ford has a vehicle for just about any need and budget. Visit the Ford dealership today to tour the lot, and talk to friendly and knowledgeable staff about vehicle options and financing opportunities.