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AUTOMOTIVE: Time to winterize your vehicle


Cold weather is coming.  What should we do to prepare our vehicles for it?  First we need to check the condition of our coolant.  A 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water is good enough for our climate.  This will bring our freezing point to -32 degrees Fahrenheit.  This is a good time to do a cooling system flush.  You should check your records to find when it was done last.  You should flush regular coolant every 2 years or 30,000 miles and extended life coolant every 5 years or 100,000 miles.  Some extended life coolants like Dexcool, need to be checked regularly.  When these systems have leaks, it allows oxygen to enter system which will cause deterioration of coolant.  When this happens, coolant will become muddy looking.  When this happens, it needs to be flushed.  It is also a good time to check the condition of hoses and belts.

Now is the time to check heaters and defrosters.  Air flow on newer vehicles is changed by electric motors.  Make sure you are getting proper flow to your defroster.  Air flow is also controlled by cabin air filters in most newer vehicles.  If you air conditioner is not working, defrost will work slower; you may want to make sure your air conditioner is working properly.

Windshield wipers need to be checked and replaced if needed.  Check washer fluid and add winter fluid, which has a lower freezing point and also will have more detergent for better cleaning under dirty snow and ice conditions.  Any problems with these systems, we will be glad to check for you.