The winter months can be tough on your car. Between the salt and sand on the roads and the cold, dry air, your vehicle is under attack from all sides. That’s why it’s important to take some extra steps to care for it this winter. Here are some tips from Master Muffler Brigham City for getting through the coldest months of the year in Utah.

Regular Car Washes

Getting the exterior of your car washed regularly during the winter months is an important factor in maintaining the paint and undercarriage. Splurging on weekly sudsing is especially necessary if you live in an area where road salt is used. The combination of salt and snow can cause rust and corrosion to the paint on your vehicle, so it’s best to remove it from your car as soon as possible. You can either wash your car yourself or take it to a professional car wash.

Don’t Forget Undercarriage Washing

In addition to washing the exterior of your car, you should also wash the undercarriage. Sometimes this is an extra charge when you go through an automatic car wash, but it’s worth a few bucks! Picture the buildup of slush, sand, and salt at your car’s wheel wells; the same buildup can occur under the body of your vehicle, making it more susceptible to damage. Be sure your regular car wash includes spraying down the undercarriage as well.

Engine Tune-Ups

You’ve given some extra attention to your car’s exterior, and now it’s time to turn to what’s under the hood. Be sure you have your engine tuned up before winter, as cold weather can put additional strain on your engine. A tune-up will help ensure that your engine is running smoothly and efficiently, which will save you money in the long run.

What to Look for in a Tune-Up

To avoid being stranded on the side of the road in the cold, have the following inspected during a tune-up:

  • Belts
  • Hoses
  • Spark Plugs

Brake Inspection

Winter roads in Brigham City are bad enough without having brake issues in your vehicle. Before you head into some of the shortest days with the coldest temperatures, have your brakes thoroughly checked for wear. You want nothing but the best performance from your brake pads when the roads are icy and your commute is dark.

Keep Fluids Topped Off

For both function and convenience, keep your fluids topped throughout winter. Not only will it ensure that your engine stays lubricated and the radiator stays cool, but it’ll ensure you never run out of washer fluid when you need to wipe grime from your windshield.

Car Fluids to Check This Winter

  • Power Steering Fluid
  • Brake Fluid

Fill the Tank

Do you like to see how far you can go on a low-fuel indicator? In winter, that’s probably a game of chicken you don’t want to play. In the event you’re stuck in bad weather, you want to have as much fuel as possible to allow you to keep your car, and the heater, running when needed. Be more mindful of keeping your gas tank filled up during the winter so you don’t run the risk of having to shut off the car to conserve fuel, leaving you without heat.

Install LED Lights

If you do find yourself hanging out roadside, waiting for a storm to clear or for help to dig you out of the snow, having LED lights might prove helpful. Since LED dome lights use less energy, you won’t run the risk of draining your battery if you have the interior lights on while waiting in your car. It’s a small upgrade you can do to help prepare your car for winter, and it will benefit you year-round when you inevitably leave a dome light on by mistake.

Winterize Your Car

What does it mean to winterize your car? This includes things like putting frost guards on your windshield overnight and investing in a good set of snow tires. You should also check your emergency kit to ensure you have warm blankets, jumper cables, an external phone charger, and non-perishable snacks.

Other Ways to Winterize Your Vehicle:

  • Maintain tire pressure for optimal performance on slick roads
  • Inspect your battery and alternator to ensure they’re in tip-top shape 
  • Install winter windshield wipers on your car
  • Pack an ice scraper and snow brush/broom in the trunk
  • Check that your heater works before temperatures drop

If you need any help getting your vehicle in its best shape for winter, get in touch with the auto care experts at Brigham City Master Muffler.