These are the times that try Kansas Citians’ cars, trucks, vans, buses and SUVs — not to mention people’s patience.
It’s why the Car Care Council provides people with some easy tips to help ensure that vehicles start as they should in near-zero and subzero degree weather. Troubles with vehicles during warmer weather are problems on steroids in the winter, including pings, hard starts, sluggish performance and rough idling, and let’s not even talk about weak batteries.
The following six tips could help people get to where they want to go in vehicles that are performing at their best despite the severe cold:
▪ At minimum, keep the gas tank half full to reduce the moisture forming in gas lines and prevent possible freezing.
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▪ Colder weather causes a pressure reduction in tires. It’s simple physics. Check the tire pressure, including the spare tire, and add more air if needed. In this area because of the snow and ice that hits in the winter, make sure there is plenty of tread with even wear on all-season radials or snow tires. If there is a problem, consider having a wheel alignment and getting new tires.
Forget about idling unless the windshield needs defrosting or the interior has to be warm. Idling longer than 30 seconds in most cases is unnecessary for the sake of warming up the engine. The best way to warm up your car is to drive it.
Low-viscosity oil works best in the winter. It flows more easily between moving parts when the weather is cold. Drivers in areas like this with subzero temperatures should have their oil weight at 10-W30 to 5-W30. Thicker oil can make a vehicle harder to start.
Washer fluid marked to work best in cold weather should be considered this time of year. People also can buy special windshield wiper blades if needed.
People wanting more information can order a free copy of the recently updated, 80-page Car Care Guide by going to www.carcare.org/car-care-guide.