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Oil Change and Other Tips for Winterizing

Having an oil change is just one part of successfully preparing a car for the winter time. It is also necessary to learn how to drive safely.

Science ArticlesWhen the temperature drops and cold weather starts rolling in it can be rough to have to get in the vehicle and drive it places. All most people want to do is stay bundled up warm in the house and not think about the snowy world around them. Unfortunately in order to be safe there is a need for winterizing the car. It will help to keep the vehicle safe and also to keep loved ones who are driving it safe. Some of the things that need to be done involve getting an oil change and switching lubricants while others are more personal lessons that should be learned.

First of all if you are a responsible and safe driver you likely already get an oil change regularly. For the cold weather just think of the need for lubricant as getting a more extensive sort of oil change. Just like the water in the taps can freeze lube and other fluids getter thicker in the cold. The auto industry knows this too so they have special winter materials that can be used and perform better at lower temperatures. If you live in an area where things get chilly or you often drive up to the mountains for snow sports consider discussing it with the mechanic at the next oil change.

Other parts are affected by the cold as well. Belts may shrink as they cool and then expand as they heat up from the engine warmth. This constant swelling and shrinking can cause them to break or crack so it is worth looking in on them from time to time. Certainly it can be unpleasant to think about going out in a storm to look under the hood so try and do it before it gets real cold. If they are damaged they are likely to show it before the mercury drops.

While the condition of a vehicle is important to maintain there needs to be some check on the condition of the driver as well. Driving in the winter is not the same as when it is hot out. Roads are slippery and cars need extra care when starting them and operating them. Drive slowly in icy and snowy conditions. Make sure to save time in the morning for deicing and defrosting windows before heading out. Also if things will be cold and icy for a long time consider investing in some studded tires or at least a set of chains for extreme conditions.

Getting an oil change and checking the condition of vulnerable parts is a good start to winterizing the car. It is also necessary to get the requisite driving skill for oneself so that once can operate the vehicle safely and with control.

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