Winter Weather & Fluids: What to Know
Whether your commute this winter is short or long, it’s important to keep an eye on your fluids when temperatures drop so your ride remains safe, warm and reliable.
Engine coolant holds true to its name by keeping your engine comfortably cool and protecting it from corrosion. All cars need a ratio of engine coolant to water, and for most cars, a 60% coolant to 40% water ratio is required during winter months. Stop by any of our stores, and our ASE-certified experts will make sure you have the right ratio and the right level.
If you prefer to check the coolant level yourself:
1. Allow your engine to completely cool.
2. Pop your hood and look for the engine coolant well. The lid will read “Engine Coolant Only”.
3. Look for the “COLD FULL” indicator on the side of the reservoir. If your coolant level is above this line, you’re good to go. If it’s below the line, you need to add more coolant.
If you live in an area where winter means below-freezing temps, it’s a good idea to use a less viscous (thinner) oil or a synthetic oil, both of which are formulated to better withstand winter’s chill. Always refer to your owner’s manual first before making any changes to your oil. Better yet, visit any of our stores, and we’ll help you find the right winter oil for your specific make and model.
Fresh, clean snow quickly becomes dirty, grimy windshield film that makes it hard to see where you’re going. Plan ahead by making sure your wiper blades are in good shape and your washer fluid is topped off. Also consider using a washer fluid with an antifreeze solution so your spray doesn’t turn to ice. We can help you choose the best washer fluid for your needs when you visit any of our stores.
The old trick of pouring warm water on frozen door handles works, but only if you happen to be near a faucet. Do yourself a favor and pick up a bottle of de-icer from your local hardware store. You’ll be glad you did when you’re, say, stuck in the airport economy parking lot in the middle of winter, far away from warm water.