Winterizing Your Car


Kyle Hall, Staff Writer

The season is changing and bringing winter weather, which means you may want to consider winterizing your car.

Cold temperatures make it harder for your engine to work like it should, and snow and ice limit traction.

Automotive technician, Brent Romans, said that you sure consider using snow tires.

“If you have the cash, consider buying a set of winter tires.  These are designed to provide maximum traction in snow and ice,” Romans said.

He also said that you should check your tire pressure since it is especially important during the winter since traction in often at a minimum due to wet or snowy conditions.

“Properly inflated tires will guarantee the best possible contact between the tires and the driving surface.” Said Romans.

You should also review the use of your four-wheel-drive system.  Many SUVs offer four-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive that improves traction in slippery conditions.

Since these are not used a lot in the summer, Romans said it would be a good idea to go over and review how to use them.

“You should consider checking the owner’s manual to learn the different driving settings and when to use them,” Romans said.

Since all-wheel-drive systems are usually automatic, if you lose traction, the system automatically engages.

Romans said that you should also consider using different oil in the winter.  He said that when winter arrives and the temperature drops, the oil in your car will become thicker.

When it becomes thick, it makes for a harder start up for the car.  To solve this problem, Romans said that some engines might perform better with thinner oil.

“If a dealership or local garage performs the oil change, check with the manager before hand to make sure the desired oil type and viscosity is available,” Romans said.

One of thing that Romans wants you to do is to carry an emergency kit in your car.  He said that it doesn’t take up much space and can be valuable in an emergency.

“These kits should include a flashlight, flares and a first-aid kit.  You also may want to consider carrying jumper cables and a portable jump starter, a tool kit, blanket and anything else to help you if you get stuck out in the cold” Romans said.

Romans said it is best to try and do it early enough before the bad winter weather hits and you get stuck in it.