10 Winter Car Care Tips for Columbus, Ohio Drivers

Although it is still technically fall in Columbus, winter is right around the corner. With it comes the cold, windy days and regular blizzards Ohio is known for. Ohioans are hardy people, but our cars typically need a little extra care during these winter months due to freezing temperatures, heavy snow, salted streets, and icy roads. Below find 10 of our top winter car care tips to help drivers keep their vehicles running smoothly all winter long!

 1)      Check Lighting Components

As the sun sets earlier in the coming season, there will be less daylight and many drivers will be doing their morning and evening commutes in the dark. This makes it increasingly important for drivers to check all of their vehicle’s lights to ensure they are providing the brightest illumination possible. Bulbs that are out can be easily fixed ahead of time and foggy or yellow headlights can be restored at home using a kit or replaced through a trusted service center. 

When it does snow, drivers should make sure to remove any snow from exterior lights before heading out on the roads. Keeping gloves and an ice scraper and snow brush in a vehicle becomes necessary at all times starting in about November in Columbus!

2)      Check the Battery

Car batteries operate far better in warm weather than in cold weather. As soon as the cold weather hits, drivers might be at a higher risk of getting stuck with a dead battery. A simple volt test before winter sets in will help ensure that the battery is in good working order. If it isn’t, drivers will still have plenty of time to buy a new battery before the winter sets in. This will ease any worry about being stranded or left out in the cold during a blizzard with a car that won’t start.

 3)      Coolant

Coolant, or antifreeze, keeps the engine from freezing in lower temperatures. This is very important to the well-being of any vehicle, and drivers should double-check the coolant levels now. They should also be wary of any leaks in the engine that could cause coolant to drain out. Mechanics often recommend a 50/50-mix of coolant and water in their radiators, which usually results in a lower engine freezing point. Drivers can contact an experienced service center if they are concerned about a leak or have questions surrounding coolant.

 4)      Keep the Washer Fluid Full

It becomes more of a necessity to maintain a full windshield-washer reservoir during the winter months as snowstorms and road debris can require constant window washing to maintain clear visibility. Drivers should check the reservoir before every storm and make sure to keep it topped off throughout the season.

 5)      Invest in Good Windshield Wipers

Sometimes vehicles come with windshield wipers that just won’t cut it during an Ohio winter. On top of that, many drivers don’t realize that car wipers only have a lifespan of about a year. Drivers should invest in new blades or upgrade to better quality wiper blades that can effectively manage snow, ice, and dirt.

 6)      Consider Getting Winter Tires

Many vehicles these days come standard with all-wheel drive or offer the option for drivers to include it. While this can inspire more confidence on the road, it may not necessarily handle the road as well as some drivers would like during the winter, especially on the outskirts of town. Winter tires are a good idea when the temperature will regularly drop below 45 degrees and they are more capable of staying flexible at low temperatures. Drivers looking for improved traction on cold pavement or snowy roads may want to consider getting winter tires.

 7)      Keep Track of Tire Pressure

Colder weather typically leads to a drop in tire pressure, with tires losing up to one pound per square inch for every 10-degree drop. It is important for drivers to pay attention to this and maintain solid tire pressure, as driving around with low tire pressure could lead to premature wear, tread separation, and diminished handling. Drivers can pay attention to vehicle sensors or check the pressure themselves and conveniently fill them at a gas station air pump.

 8)      Check the Defroster & Climate Control System

It is crucial for drivers to check their car’s window defroster and the climate control system before winter to stay warm and maintain comfort and safety throughout any cold spell. Driving around with a heater that isn’t working properly can be uncomfortable, but driving around with foggy windows can be extremely dangerous and should be dealt with immediately. A local service center can check these items and make any necessary repairs or replacements that are needed.

 9)      Keep a Full Tank of Gas

Many responsible drivers will keep their gas tank full (or at least close to full) throughout the year, but this becomes more important as winter rolls around. Doing so could keep accumulated water from freezing inside the fuel pump. It could also be useful if a driver gets stuck and needs to keep the engine running for a longer period of time to maintain heat.

10)  Pack a Survival Kit

Many people already carry emergency supplies in their vehicles, but these should be restocked and adjusted for better winter readiness. Any drivers that do not currently have a survival kit in their car should prepare one before the first winter storm hits. These can include a blanket, first-aid kit, knife, flashlight, jumper cables, snacks, phone charger, shovel, de-icer spray, and any other items that might be useful in case of an emergency.

With these 10 simple winter car care tips and reliable support from our automotive experts and service technicians, every driver can be safe, prepared, and comfortable throughout the coming season. Drivers can make an appointment at our Columbus service center this month for assistance checking these systems or to take care of any automotive issues before we hit our coldest, snowiest months. Schedule an appointment for service on any Porsche, Subaru, Audi, or another vehicle now!

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