Car Care for the Winter Months

Car Care for the Winter Months

Caring For Your Car in the Winter Months

January is here, and even though we have been enjoying somewhat warmer temperatures in Indiana this winter, the next Polar Vortex could be right around the corner! It’s a good time to think about how to take care of your car when the winter weather including the extreme cold arrives. What problems come to mind with your car during the winter months?

The first thing that comes to mind is when the door is frozen shut! UGH! Some helpful tips are provided on the Honda website under automobile tips. One way to prevent a door from freezing shut is to make sure the rubber seal is not cracked or damaged. It is a good idea to replace it if it is damaged. Also, clean the rubber seal from any dirt that might be on it. Finally, rub a paper towel soaked with a lubricant product that you can purchase form an auto store onto the rubber seal. Spraying oil into the locks will also help to prevent door locks from freezing. You can actually use cooking oil for this if you do not have the lubricant product. Most people tend to have either cooking spray or oil in their kitchen cabinets. As you know, oil and water don’t mix. The oil will repel the water and help prevent it from freezing.

The second thing that comes to mind is when clumps of ice form on the windshield wipers. How many times have you been driving down the road and have to roll down your window (if it is not frozen shut) to time the wipers just right so you can flip the wiper to try to get the ice off of it? THAT is super annoying!. To avoid that problem, according to you can try wiping the blades down with rubbing alcohol. You can also consider changing out your regular wiper blades for winter wiper blades. They are supposed to be more flexible and work more efficiently in sub zero temperatures to keep from getting snow and ice build up. It is also a good idea to get the winter blend for your wiper fluid. It has more alcohol in it and is less likely to freeze. Check out for selections of winter wiper blades.

Another winter challenge for your car is the dreaded dead battery. Car batteries, as you know, do not like sub zero temperatures. Chemical reactions in batteries slow down during extreme cold temperatures sometimes causing the car battery to go on strike. We have all heard that sound at one time or another. rrr rrr rrr …rrr rrr rrr. What can you do? Check the age of your battery. It is recommended to change your car battery every three to five years. Make sure there is no corrosion on your battery. Purchase a good battery charger for times when the battery needs charged. Keep jumper cables handy at all times. (

Sometimes tires can give you problems in the winter. Always check your tire pressure. In cold air, the air in your tire condenses and takes up less space. When your tires are inflated properly they are more likely to get better traction. In addition to that, changing your tires for the winter months to winter tires is something you might want to think about. Do you already do that? I think I would if I lived where there was snow all of the time. What exactly is the difference between winter tires and regular “all season tires” you might be asking yourself? According to trusty Google (what would we do without it), the rubber in regular tires stiffens in the cold and reduces traction while winter tires have deeper tread and get better traction in the snow. You be the judge depending on where you live on whether or not to change to winter tires for the winter months.

What about all of the salt that is put on the road to help keep the roads safe? It’s great for melting snow and ice, but it is corrosive and can damage your car after long periods of time. The best thing to do is to get your car washed as soon as possible after a snowstorm. Make sure to request the treatment for under your car as well. You can also wax your car before the winter to add an extra protective coating.

Of course keeping your car in a garage, if one is available, is ideal to avoid the various elements of winter weather. In our case, cleaning out the garage would be a necessity. That would involve taking down the ping pong table which has become a great table to store things on. It would also take away our furniture making space……….. probably not going to happen anytime soon.

Jane Freeman is licensed in Property and Casualty Insurance at Peck and Wood Insurance

Jane Freeman
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