The weather in North Texas can be mild all the way through Thanksgiving but can get harsh in the winter months, so it’s important to winterize your vehicle prior to the colder temperatures. If not, you may find yourself on the side of a busy road in need of a tow. Although newer vehicles can handle colder weather more so than in the past, there are still some preventative measures that can keep your car or truck running smoothly. DMV.org has a quick slideshow for reminders on ways to make sure your car is ready when the temperature drops, and the tips below provide more detail.
While the DFW area is not a place where snow tires are necessarily needed, you can experience some problems with your tires when it’s colder outside. In a previous blog, Flat Tire Prevention, we wrote about tire pressure and how heat can affect your tires, but colder air can too. Generally, your tire pressure can drop about one psi for every ten degrees that the temperature drops. A flatter tire can cause you to lose traction on wet, slick, or snow ridden roads, so make sure your tires are inflated to the correct psi when it’s cold.
If you haven’t replaced your battery in a while, it can be more affected by colder weather, especially if you aren’t checking the fluid, cables, and terminals. The cables should be free of cracks and the terminals should not be loose. The battery fluid level should not be below the bottom of the cap. If so, it can be refilled with distilled water.
Replacing or refilling the fluids in your car is one of the best ways to make sure it’s ready for winter.
- Coolant – Antifreeze, just as its name suggest, keeps water in your engine from freezing. It’s important to have the correct mix of water and antifreeze, so check your vehicle’s manual for more information regarding the specific antifreeze water mixture that is best.
- Oil – The oil you normally use in your vehicle is probably okay during the winter months in North Texas, just make sure it’s at a good level and change your oil on a regular basis. Some vehicle owners’ manuals suggest switching to a thinner oil when it’s colder outside, so check yours to make sure.
- Wiper Fluid – Your wiper fluid should be switched to a freeze resistant fluid to keep it flowing regularly when the temperature drops.
Frozen Windshields and Locks
A deicer from an auto-parts store is best for frozen windshields and locks. Just be sure you don’t keep it in your glove box if your locks are frozen. If you can’t make it to the auto-parts store, make a homemade deicer by filling a regular spray bottle with 1/3 water and the rest with isopropyl alcohol (which is basically rubbing alcohol).
Even when preventative steps are taken to winterize your vehicle, unforeseen circumstances can still leave you in need of a towing company in DFW in the winter months. If so, having an emergency roadside kit can keep you safer while you’re waiting. Your kit should contain the following items, especially during the wintertime:
- Extra sweater or blanket
- Small shovel and small bag of sand or kitty litter to give you traction to get out of snow or ice
- Ice scraper (if you’re out of deicer)
- Extra coolant.
In addition to the above tips, regular maintenance of your vehicle is important to keep it functioning properly. If you can’t do it yourself, take your vehicle to a trusted auto shop for help in winterizing. Also, remember that Titan Towing offers roadside assistance in Arlington and surrounding areas 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year.