From driving back and forth to work and school to running ordinary errands, owning a vehicle is essential for most people. Of course, choosing the best vehicle for your needs is overwhelming due to the various options available. Fortunately, many drivers are opting for a sport utility vehicle, or SUV, due to the extra interior space and increased safety. While your SUV may offer off-road capability, preparing your vehicle for the winter season is smart for its function and your safety. Considering winter is quickly approaching, consider winterizing your SUV for the freezing temperatures and slick, icy road conditions using this guide.
Be sure your tires are in good condition before the winter season begins. Low air pressure and poor-quality tread decreases your tire traction when driving on wet, icy, and slippery roads. This increases your risk of serious accidents. Here are a few tips to ensure your tires are ready for winter:
- Pressure – Your tire's air pressure increases and decreases as temperatures rise and fall, so check the pressure using a digital gauge all through the winter season. Search your owner's manual for the recommended air pressure and inflate or deflate accordingly.
- Tread – Proper tread is necessary for grasping and hugging the road while driving, but poor tread will cause you to lose traction in slippery conditions. When road conditions become a wintry mess, check your tread using the penny test. Place a penny into various spaces between your tire tread. Be sure to face the queen's head down into the tread. If part of her head is covered, your tread is in good condition.
The midst of the fall season is a great time to winterize your SUV's engine. You most likely added coolant in the radiator to prevent overheating in the summer, so preparing for the cold, freezing temperatures with antifreeze is smart.
Most manufacturers recommend flushing and changing out coolant and antifreeze every 30,000 miles, but check your SUV's owner manual for detailed instructions. Without antifreeze, radiator fluid will freeze, preventing it from running through your engine correctly, which may lead to a complete failure.
You should also change your oil before the winter season begins. While your SUV mileage may not be due for a change, your vehicle will benefit from a thinner oil during the cold, freezing temperatures. When changing the oil, opt for 5W30 or 10W30, which is beneficial for colder climates since it decreases engine strain and improves engine start-up.
Lastly, inspect your SUV's battery since it may lose power in the colder temperatures. Check the cables, terminals, and battery fluid for damage, cracks, signs of corrosion, or leakage. Replace if necessary.
While driving a sport utility vehicle may make you seem invincible, winterizing is key to your safety and vehicle's operation. After you use these simple solutions, your SUV will be ready for the harsh temperatures and slippery road conditions of winter. Visit City Radiator Service Ltd if you have any questions.