We all know how hard the sun and heat is on our cars. And our hands when we grab the steering wheel. Yikes. But our beloved autos need to prepare for winter just like us. Think of it as the perfect circle scarf paired with new boots to go with your leggings.
In the Valley we may not experience below zero temps and snow days, but our cars do respond to changes in weather. And if we decide to lose our minds and travel north for winter sports, we want to be ready.
How do we know what to do? Ask The Duke of Cars, of course. If you’re like me, driving over to The Duke’s place and having his guys take care of it is the winterizing of choice but some readers report loving car information and even more surprisingly, there are people who take care of this themselves. So for those readers—advice from The Duke himself on what needs to be done for your car to face winter with a smile.
Top off your fluids, especially if your car is of the import variety. Radiator fluid should be a 50/50 mix. Never remove the radiator cap until the car is cooled. Otherwise it will shoot off in your face. The whole system is in need of flushing every 24 months.
The area in which you live determines what type of oil and its level. Some are synthetic, some synthetic blend. Older models need lower viscosity winter oil—W/30 or 5W/30. This protects the engine at startup. Automatic transmission fluid also needs a check.
Wiper blades spend the summer beaten and abused by the Arizona sun. Replace them and check the wiper solvent.
Check the tire pressure as colder weather deflates tires faster. Remember: don’t drive on under or over inflated tires. Uneven tread is also a no-no. Here’s a test. Take penny. Insert it, head side down, into the tread. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head the tread is not up to snuff. Rotate the tires two times per year and check the spare. Do we know where this is?
Are your battery cables cracked? Is the fluid at the right level? To check: uncover the refill hole and if the level is below the bottom line of the cap, refill it with distilled water. Baking soda and water is a great battery cleaner if it has gunk or corrosion.
Waxing the car will protect the finish. And don’t forget to update your emergency kit. Make sure you’ve got tools, flares, a small shovel (for when a handsome stranger helps dig your car out of the snow), jumper cables, a blanket and a hat and coat.
Sounds like a lot of work. But as The Duke reminds us, “Regular maintenance will keep costs down and extend the life of your car.”
Or you can do like most Duchess Dolls and just call The Duke for an appointment. He’s offering ten percent off. Give him a jingle at Superstition Springs Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, 877-233-5966 or visit the website here. Happy driving!