Fall, the season known for change. The leaves are changing, the weather is changing, and after Halloween and Thanksgiving, some of our waistlines are changing. Fall is the perfect time to prepare for winter. We winterize our houses by having the furnace serviced and draining the garden hoses. But what about our cars? What’s the best way to winterize our vehicles?
Here in Metro Atlanta winter doesn’t seem to be a harsh season when compared to our neighbors up north. You don’t need to rush out and get snow tires, or start your vehicle in subzero temperatures (unless the snowpocalypse is happening again). So what’s the big deal? North Georgia still gets some dips in the temperature that can throw your vehicle for a loop. Here’s six things that you should address this fall to prepare for the upcoming winter weather:
Did you know the gas that you buy in July is not the same mix as the gas you buy in January? Since the Clean Air Act in the 90s, the government has mandated different ethanol mixes for winter gasoline (You can read all about it here). This means more build up on your throttle body. Start the winter with a clean throttle body to avoid mid-season break downs.
Do you know what’s in your radiator? It’s a mix of ethanol-glycol and water. If you don’t have the correct ratio, it can destroy your hoses, radiator, or worse the engine itself. We can easily check and make sure your coolant is ready for winter and even do a quick pressure test to be sure there’s no leaks so you won’t find yourself low on coolant.
While checking to make sure your heater and defrost work seems obvious, you’d be surprised how many people wait till that fist cold morning to find out they don’t have working heat. Try to test your heat when the outside temp is below 70, this way you’re not just feeling the ambient air temp.
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, then you know that spring is not the only time there’s pollen in the air. While your vehicle may not turn yellow in the fall there are still lots of pollen and other pollutants in the air in metro Atlanta. Your air filter protects your engine from dirt, dust, pollen, leaves, feathers, and more. Your cabin air filter does the same, but protects you and your family.
Did you know batteries are measured by their Cold Crank Amps (CCA)? That is how much power you have to start your vehicle in 32 degree weather. Batteries decrease in CCAs as they age. This is why you can start your vehicle one day and the next day find yourself with a dead battery. Be sure to have your battery tested to make sure you have enough CCA to start your vehicle this winter.
Most Geniuses know that Gay-Lussac's Law is one part of the ideal gas law and so explains how gases change when volume is held constant. As the temperature increases, the molecules in the gas move faster, impacting the gas's container more frequently and exerting a greater force. For the rest of us: Hot air has more pressure and cold air has less pressure. So when the temperatures drop, so does your tire pressure. While we don’t have to get snow tires here in the south, we do have to add a little air to make sure our tire pressure is correct. Tire pressure not only helps keep you safe, but it also helps keep your fuel cost down.
Fortunately living in metro-Atlanta we can have some pretty mild winters but some years we can have crazy winters too. Make sure you and your vehicle are ready for winter no matter what.
At Automotive Blessings we are all about maintaining your vehicle to keep you on the road and avoid costly repairs. Call today to schedule your fall maintenance service and you won’t have to worry about the cold months ahead.