With Halloween and Thanksgiving right around the corner, everyone is gearing up for colder weather by digging out old sweaters, stocking up on hot chocolate, and caulking the windows to avoid the cold winter drafts. As you prepare yourself and your home for the colder temperatures, make sure to remember your car, too. Getting any auto repair issues looked at now could save you from being stranded in the bitter winter cold. This article begins a three-part series on how to properly prepare your car for the hazards of winter, and we’ll begin by talking about how to winterize the inside systems of your car. Whether you find it mysterious or enthralling, what goes on under your vehicle’s hood is critical to the health and performance of your vehicle. So, as temperatures drop and winter approaches, it’s important to give your car’s insides some TLC.

Step 1: Check the Oil

If you’re going in for an oil change soon, ask your mechanic if you need to use a different type of oil during the winter. Keep in mind that some oils are naturally thicker than others, and that most oils thicken even more as the temperature decreases. This means that you may need to use an oil with a different viscosity (thickness) during the winter. The more extreme the weather is, the more paramount this becomes.

Step 2: Test the Battery

If you don’t want to get stranded somewhere on a freezing day, do yourself a favor and get your battery checked. Batteries typically last for three years in a car, but they may begin to die before the three years are up—so you don’t want to risk it. It’s actually quite easy to see how your battery is doing: take your vehicle to a car repair shop, and the mechanics can perform a quick test on the battery to see how much life it has left. They can then advise you about whether to replace it or not.

Step 3: Refill the Antifreeze

Have a professional check your antifreeze level before the real cold front comes. Antifreeze performs several critical functions: it lubricates the engine, deters rust, and keeps the cooling system from freezing in your car. It’s important to get the right ratio of antifreeze and water, so it’s easiest to have an auto repair specialist do it.

Step 4: Try the Heat

While no one wants to blast the heat on a 70-degree day, you need to make sure the heating system works before it gets cold enough to actually need it. Test it out, and if you suspect a problem with the heater, take it to a mechanic’s shop as soon as you can. Auto Specialty of Lafayette is a full-service auto shop in Indiana. We serve Lafayette, West Lafayette, and the surrounding areas. Whether you want us to winterize your car, or you need a large auto repair completed, we have experienced mechanics and affordable prices. As winter approaches, make sure to buy some hot chocolate, caulk those windows, and bring your vehicle over to Auto Specialty of Lafayette. Contact us at 765-477-7300; we look forward to serving you.
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