Need some tips on how to take care of a car over winter.

I found an article on how to "winterize" a car but would appreciate more resources/tips/information regarding the proper way to maintain tires and other external car features, not just internal.

My main concern is the heating system functionality and tire pressure/traction.

  • this is awfully broad, and really isn't even a "question" of the sort that has an "answer". Maybe go through that article and you will find some specific questions suitable to ask here.
    – agentp
    Sep 11 '17 at 20:47
  • That article looks like it hits the big items. Honestly, you could do nothing and your car will run fine, assuming it is well-maintained. The heating system simply takes heat from the engine and blows it into the cabin. Tire pressure will drop with lower temperatures, so check it after the first cold day and add enough air to get it back to the specified pressure. Traction really depends on conditions. If you live in a very snowy area, snow tires are a good choice. If not, all-seasons are fine.
    – Spivonious
    Sep 11 '17 at 20:51
  • 1
    To add to Spivonious's comment: if you live somewhere where roads are salted during the winter, make sure to wash your car (especially the underside) frequently during the winter to avoid salt building up on the underside of your car and accelerating the rust/corrosion process. Most automated car washes have the option for underside washing, but a hose works just as well.
    – Shamtam
    Sep 11 '17 at 21:02

For winter:

Snow tires: All Season tire are really only 3 season tires. Below 7 C (44.6 F) so called All Seasons quickly lose traction due to the fact the rubber compound isn't soft enough. Winter tires are softer and contain silica. Their tread is also deeper and more aggressive. They are mandatory in most provinces in Canada and northern states

Fully charged battery: A weak or dead battery will freeze in extremely cold temperatures.

Synthetic Oil: Highly recommended. Stays fluid at low temperature making engine easier to start. Car warms up quicker I find because the engine heat isn't wasted thawing the dino oil.

Full tank of gas: Running out of gas at -20C isn't fun.

Survival mentality: Having all the essentials to avoid problems such as jumper cables, traction aids, shovel, flashlight, fully charged cell phone, blankets and warm clothing. Be mindful of the weather. In winter the conditions can change very fast.

Good driving technique: Pretty much self explanatory.

Good tire inflation: Add a few extra PSI to compensate for temperature drop. Inflate when ambient temperatures are above freezing. Inflating tire below freezing could result in a flat tire because the valve freezes open.

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