Winterizing your car is similar to protecting your investment. With the right care, motor oil and maintenance, your vehicle will get through the winter unscathed.
Check the motor oil
While you usually think of having enough oil, the question to ask yourself as winter approaches is whether you have the right type of oil. 5W-30 engine oil has a lower viscosity than 20W-50 engine oil and will flow more freely in cold weather. If you’ve been using 20W-50 motor oil for the rest of the year, it’s time to make a change. If the engine oil is too thick, it will be difficult to run the engine in cold weather.
The good news is that 5W-30 oil is recommended for year-round use in most vehicles. So there’s no need to switch between the two once you’ve switched to the lower viscosity variant.
However, be careful about choosing anything with a viscosity lower than recommended in your vehicle owner’s manual. Oil that runs too thin may not provide sufficient lubrication and protection for your car’s engine.
Replace the motor oil filter
Engine oil is not the only factor that weighs heavily on winter performance. Having the right type of oil filter in the winter is crucial. Lower temperatures mean thicker engine oil and thicker engine oil means more pressure on the oil filter, especially at start-up. If a filter is not of high quality, it may not be able to handle the large pressure increases that occur in winter and fall out at the weakest spot.
Filters with a filter screen that is too fine do not allow oil to pass through as easily as they should in cold weather, limiting lubrication. Consult the owner’s manual that came with your vehicle or speak to a qualified mechanic to determine the best type of filter for your make and model.
Consider the age of the battery
Most batteries don’t last much longer than two to five years, depending on usage and model. Cold temperatures can affect battery performance. If the battery is approaching four or five years of age, it may be a good idea to replace it now. Always inspect battery cables, mounting brackets and trays. Signs of erosion could mean a dead battery in the near future.
Inspect the timing belt
A broken timing belt presents a greater challenge in the winter. When being stranded means not only a minor inconvenience, but a potentially life-threatening situation. Cold weather can cause timing belts to stretch and wear faster than expected due to the expansion and contraction caused by extreme temperatures. Inspect your vehicle’s timing belt and replace it if it approaches the manufacturer’s recommended interval or shows signs of wear.
These are just some of the parts you can check to get your vehicle in top condition for the winter. With careful maintenance and the help of an experienced mechanic, you can keep your vehicle running in the sun and snow for years to come. You can always contact Solution Oil for free advice.