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It is that time of the year when your car needs special care and attention. The monsoons are over, the weather is getting cold and you need to be extra cautious with your cars' maintenance. Here are some tips for winter car care in India.
1. Engine Oil
Do not get tempted to just top up the oil if you have been using it for too long without changing it. You should replace your engine oil with a lighter one, one that is just right for the cold weather conditions.
Most modern cars need an SAE 0W20 or 5W20 grade engine oil; this allows maximum fuel efficiency and great starting power even in case of extreme cold temperatures. Check your car's manual to find out what specific temperature ranges are recommended by the manufacturer and then buy accordingly (if your car requires SAE 10W30, try and find an SAE 5W30 or 10W30 oil).
Most people assume that their battery lasts forever. Well, this is not true, especially in cold weather conditions. If the temperature drops below 0°C (32°F), then it becomes necessary to give your car's battery some extra care and attention.
You should check the electrode plates inside the battery for rusting; if there are any signs of rust, you must get them repaired before they cause irreversible damage to the battery. Once you have ensured everything is alright with your car's battery, make sure that it is fully charged before winter sets in especially if you live in an area where temperatures drop significantly at night.
3. Windshield Wipers
In extreme winters, wiper blades might freeze up against the windshield when you are trying to wash off ice or snow. You can prevent this from happening by using a silicone-based spray on your wipers every month in the winter season. This ensures wipers work seamlessly.
4. Fuel Injection Systems
If you use Ethanol Based fuels, do not forget that they tend to get thicker at low temperatures. This means that if you live in an area where temperatures during winters go beyond 10°C (50°F), then you must keep extra fuel in your car's fuel tank in case of emergencies.
No matter what kind of fuel you run your car on, make sure that there isn't water content in it by checking its colour and smell. If there is water content, it might get dispersed throughout your engine and damage it.
5. Tyre Pressure
It is important to check the tire pressure in all four tyres every month in winter. Make sure the weather is cold before you deflate your car's tyres in order to increase their internal pressure when they are inflated by a car jack or a floor pump.
6. Air Filter
A clogged air filter can make your engine work inefficiently during winter which will also make it run hotter. To prevent this from happening, check if the cabin air filter needs replacement or not. You can save money on fuel by using an economy booster fuel additive every month.
You should never forget to use anti-freeze in the winter months especially since it is absolutely necessary for cars that are not equipped with an engine heater (engine heaters ensure that your engine does not slow down due to cold).
8. Battery Charger
Make sure that the battery charger of your car is fully functional before winter sets in; if it isn't, then buy one immediately. A dead battery becomes very difficult to charge if the weather becomes extremely chilly; this is why it is important to keep the battery charger in working condition.
9. Spark Plugs
Cold temperature can cause cracks in the porcelain insulation of spark plugs. In addition, if the car is parked and the engine's not running, condensation can accumulate and moisture can enter through a crack in a plug. Allowing this to continue corrodes the metal beneath the insulation.
10. Alternator Belt
An alternator belt charges the car battery. And Winter can cause your car's alternator belt to crack. When the temperature drops, the rubber material used in the belt becomes more brittle and its flexibility is reduced. This can cause it to snap, leaving you stranded on the road!
Make sure your battery is fully charged so that your car's electrical system doesn't have to overwork itself to compensate.
Inspect your belts for signs of cracking or fraying before every long journey so that you can replace them if they are damaged.
Thoughts About Winter Car Care
Winter is not only tough for us but it can also be tough on our cars. Whether your car is made in Sweden or Africa, the above car care tips can help you and your car sail past the winter without any troubles.