As the mornings turn chillier and snow begins to fall in White Bear Lake, it’s time to pay attention to winter car health. Here are some important items on your vehicle to pay attention to in lower temperatures.
Antifreeze (also known as coolant) is a key part of being ready for winter. Because it lowers the freezing point and raises the boiling point of water, it makes it so the water in your radiator doesn’t freeze. This means that you can still start your car in freezing temperatures and that your radiator can still keep your engine cool.
Antifreeze needs to be mixed with water to a specific ratio, or it can lead to rust or mineral deposits that will damage your engine. As with any fluid, don’t simply top it off if it’s low… low fluid levels can indicate a leak, which means contaminants are getting in at the same time. When fluid levels are low, it’s a much better idea to have it inspected so that the leak can be fixed before much bigger problems leave you stranded in the cold and snow.
The summer heat does most of the damage to your battery, but it usually isn’t noticeable until winter shows up and leaves you unable to start your car on a cold morning. The heat causes battery fluid to evaporate, which in turn damages the components inside of the battery… as a result, the battery isn’t able to produce as much of the chemical reaction that starts your car on those cold days.
Before the cold days, it’s a good idea to have your starting and charging systems inspected to make sure that your vehicle is charging the battery at an appropriate rate (not over- or under-charging) and that the battery is holding enough of a charge.
Of course, there are some things you can do on your own, such as making sure the terminals on your battery are clean. When corrosion builds up, it can inhibit the flow of electricity, meaning your battery isn’t charging as efficiently as needed.
Antifreeze and batteries aren’t the only systems affected by cold weather, but they’re some of the most critical to have inspected ahead of time. To schedule an appointment to have your vehicle inspected to make sure it’s ready for winter, give us a call at 651-426-0462.