Four Fluids to Check During The Winter Months
What does winter mean for your car? If you live where it gets cold, it means more difficulty starting, more difficulty warming up, and other potential hazards like wet roads, ice, limited visibility, and so much more. Keeping your car well maintained during these months helps with these challenges. One of the most important parts of your maintenance is ensuring crucial fluids remain at the manufacturer-recommended levels and conditions.
While your vehicle depends on a number of different fluids to run properly, there are some that are especially important during the colder weather, due to changing temperatures and added wear and tear from normal day-to-day driving. Such fluids include antifreeze, wiper fluid, brake fluid, and engine oil.
*Editors Note: This blog, originally published in December 2018, has been updated in October 2019 with new information.
Most people think antifreeze is a liquid their car uses only during winter, when freezing temperatures are more likely. What many don’t realize is that antifreeze isn’t just for cold weather—it also serves an important year-round purpose, in that it prevents overheating. Antifreeze is an important component of the fluid that flows through your radiator, pulling heat away from your engine and ensuring it runs smoothly throughout the year. However, during winter, antifreeze also prevents the water in your radiator from freezing, thus keeping your cooling system working properly in even some of the year’s coldest temperatures.
You should regularly change your antifreeze for a variety of reasons. Over time it loses its effectiveness, and can’t pull heat away from your engine as well. Additionally, old antifreeze loses its ability to prevent corrosion and damage to your cooling system’s components. As a result, it actually picks up contaminants which are bad for your engine and cause extra wear and tear. As a result, we suggest flushing your radiator and adding new antifreeze every 30,000 miles.
Wiper fluid is important during winter to ensure your visibility is as clear as possible, even in inclement weather. When visibility is poor, you may need to be able to clean your windshield in a hurry, something you can only do with wiper fluid. As you use wiper fluid, the level begins to drop. We recommend taking this opportunity to top off your wiper fluid reservoir. If you live in an environment that gets really cold, be sure you have the right kind of wiper fluid that won’t freeze in cold temperatures. The first time you need a quick spritz of cleaning fluid to allow you to see where you’re going, you’ll be glad you did.
Winter often means wet, icy or otherwise more dangerous road conditions, meaning that for your safety, your brakes must be in impeccable condition. We recommend not only getting both your brake pads and rotors checked, but your brake fluid as well. Over time, brake fluid can become dirty, and can prevent your brakes from engaging as strong or as fast as they should. Likewise, older brake fluid may struggle to work consistently when the temperature drops. Your car may not stop as quickly. That’s not something you want when you’re already facing slippery roads and additional hazards.
Your engine oil is particularly important during winter, especially if you live where temperatures regularly dip below freezing. When oil is cold, it thickens. Oil that gets too thick will add extra resistance to your engine, possibly preventing it from starting. Thick oil also places extra stress on seals, gaskets, and O-rings. Breaking one of these components could damage your entire engine, requiring substantial repairs.
Winter is around the corner, so be sure to schedule an oil change before it gets too cold.
About Christian Brothers Automotive
For over 35 years, Christian Brothers Automotive has helped drivers across the nation keep their vehicles running well with high-quality maintenance and repairs. We believe in offering superior services, including unparalleled customer service you can’t find anywhere else. Whatever make or model your vehicle may be, our technicians are the ones you can depend on–whether you need a simple oil change or a complete engine repair. Plus, we do it all for a price that’s honest, fair, and upfront.
Get your fluids checked or changed by the experts at Christian Brothers Automotive. Call your local shop to book your appointment today!
Posted by, Christian Brothers Automotive