While Phoenix is known for its warm, golf-friendly weather (and hot, stay inside summers), the winter months can get extremely cold. As a matter of fact, it dropped to 17 degrees on January 5, 1950 (glad that doesn’t happen often). To keep your car in tip-top shape during the cold weather months in Phoenix, here are a few car tips that you should consider.
1. Perform Regular Maintenance
To minimize the chance of a roadside breakdown, or worse, an accident, keep your vehicle in good working condition by having regular maintenance performed. The best recommendation is to have your vehicle serviced every three months, depending on how often it’s driven.
2. Check Tire Treads
Check your tires regularly for wear and the condition of the tire tread. For adequate traction, the minimum is 1/16”. Tire pressure is also important and needs to be checked regularly to make sure that the effects of time, changes in temperatures, or a small puncture in the tred haven’t triggered a change.
3. Check Fluids
Check all the fluids in your vehicle, especially during the winter months. Spend a little extra on windshield wiper fluid during cold weather by purchasing winter blend options. These versions are less likely to freeze because they have less water in them and a higher level of alcohol. Also, check the antifreeze levels. If you can’t remember the last time you had it done, have it flushed. Don’t forget to check your oil and have an oil change and inspection performed.
4. Using the Right Oil
Engine oil thickens when it gets cold, so using low viscosity (thinner) engine oil helps it travel smoothly through the engine. That said, when it comes to car tips, it’s important to stick with the manufacturer recommended grade.
5. Check the Battery
Cold weather can cause a reduction in your battery’s power by about half than in warm or hot weather. At the first sign of hesitation when you attempt to turn on your vehicle, have your battery checked out. As car tips go in relation to the battery, this is one of the most important. It’s also good to keep jumper cables in your vehicle and the phone number of roadside assistance service. Read about how to get roadside assistance for free here.
6. Check Windshield Blades
Obviously, visibility is important when it comes to safe driving. Dirty windows and streaks make it difficult to see, especially during the winter months when, even in Phoenix, you can end up dealing with fogged up, moist windows. Check out the windshield blades, looking for detached rubber or cracking and have them replaced at the first signs of visible wear. In addition, keep the wiper reservoir filled with a solution that includes an anti-freeze agent to keep the washer lines from freezing if the Phoenix area experiences a cold snap.
7. Maintain Adequate Gas Levels
Keeping the gas tank significantly above empty (half-full) can help prevent the fuel line from freezing. You may have to go to the gas station a few more times this winter, but it will be worth it.
8. Keep the Necessary Tools Handy
A car emergency kit is one of the handy tools you wish for when you need it, but is often forgotten. Have an emergency kit handy in the trunk, keeping it stocked with tools like a jumper kit, equipment to change a flat tire, first aid kit, reflective warning triangles, and water.
9. Be Careful Using Ice Scrapers
This is one of those car tips that most people, especially in Phoenix, rarely have to worry about. But, it’s an important one. A cheap ice scraper can damage the windshield so make sure to purchase a high-quality one.
10. Don’t Use Hot Water to Defrost the Windows
Pouring hot water on your windshields to defrost them can break the glass. To avoid dealing with ice on your windshields cover them at night, even if you just use a big towel. You can also park it in the garage or carport.
When it comes to the car tips listed here, the best way to ensure that your vehicle can stand up to the cold desert weather is to have a trusted auto repair expert check, inspect, and winterize it. Contact us today.