How to Winterize Your Vehicle in Chicago

winter-is-coming

We thought maybe mother nature forgot about us with the mild summer we had this year. Despite all the rain, maybe she is taking it easy on us this year now that she knows Lou Malnati’s delivers nationwide.

Our local meteorologists, however, have crunched the numbers and performed their ceremonial weather dance. It appears our mild summer is only the calm before the storm. This winter is supposed to be a rough one. By rough we mean possibly blizzard of 2011, rough.

Chicago-Blizzard-2011

Remember the blizzard? Of course you do because that’s how we compare other people’s tolerance for cold weather. That year has taught us a few things about winter driving, such as, keep skis in your car at all times and never take Lake Shore Drive when it’s snowing. There are other, less extreme, preparations you can take to make sure you survive through another Chicago winter. We are not talking about mental preparations, that can be handled simply by visiting your neighborhood bar. We are talking about preparations that can only be handled by your neighborhood mechanic.

Your car takes a beating every winter. To make sure your car is still standing after the fight is over we provided a few tips that may be necessary to have checked by a mechanic.

Anti-freeze

With sub-zero temperatures and mountains for snow piles there is a reason why we got the nickname, “Chi-beria”. The Farmer’s Almanac is predicting below average temperatures this season and above average snow fall. To make sure your engine doesn’t freeze, make sure you have the right type of anti-freeze. Certain types of engines require specific types of anti-freeze. Make sure you or your mechanic is putting in the right one for your car so that your engine doesn’t freeze.

Battery

Cold weather is hard work on your battery. A battery is a filled with chemicals that produce electrons. Much like ourselves, the chemicals move slower in cold weather which produces fewer electrons. The starter motor therefore has less energy to work with when it tries to start the engine, and this causes the engine to crank slowly.

Brakes

Not only do we have to watch out for black ice, but also those drivers that think they own the road. Our parents told us the secret to stopping in snowy weather is to pump the brakes. Essentially, that is what an ABS system does. ABS keep your brakes from locking up to prevent your car from sliding. We suggest that you don’t ignoring your ABS light when it comes on and take your car to a mechanic for safe driving this winter.

Heat

Before it starts getting too cold out there, check your heater to make sure you have full heat blowing out of the vents. This will help you determine if your windshield defroster is strong enough to handle the sub-zero temperatures.

As far as your rear-window defrosters go, it is hard to determine if those are working properly unless you happen to see a pile of snow lying around. Mechanics do have the equipment to test if you are receiving power to the rear defrosters without needing any snow at all.

Tip:

To get the most out of your engine this winter, let the engine warm up first before you drive away. Since the fluids in your car move slower in cold temperature, it’s best to make sure those fluids are moving well before you begin driving. Let the car run while you scrape off the windshield or while you gather up your lawn chairs to reserve your parking spot.

 

 

Please don't be this person.

Please don’t be this person.

#chicagowinter #chicagodriving #winterdriving


If you have any questions or concerns about your vehicle, feel free to give us a call.

Spotlightautoservice.com specializes in European auto repairs and maintenance. We strive to keep our service cost 40% less than dealerships. Schedule an appointment for your Audi, BMW, Land Rover, Mercedes, Mini Cooper, or Volkswagen with us.

 

 

Written by Spotlight Automotive