The Type of Climate You Live In Can Affect Your Car Care

Dealing with extreme weather elements is nothing new to Midwesterners, especially here in Fargo, ND, where we were voted “America’s Toughest Weather City” by The Weather Channel in 2011. However, these weather elements can lead to severe driving conditions. Severe driving conditions are defined as any driving conditions which are less than ideal. Some examples of extreme driving are driving in: extremely hot weather, extremely cold weather, stop and go traffic, vehicles hauling heavy loads, and driving with prolonged high engine speeds. 

Whether it’s the bitterly cold winters or the scorching-hot summers, below is a guide to caring for your car in weather-related extreme driving conditions. 

<v:V:PATH o:connecttype="rect" gradientshapeok="t" o:extrusionok="f"> Cold weather climate:

·         Keep a close eye on your car’s fluids:

It is absolutely crucial to maintain the proper level of fluids in your car at all times. However, this is especially important in a cold climate. Oil, antifreeze, and transmission fluid are vital fluids to maintain in the winter months.

Windshield wiper fluid is commonly overlooked when it comes to important fluids in your car. During the winter months, windshield wiper fluid can be your best friend. With all of the salt and dirt being sprayed at your car, visibility can become a huge issue, and if you run out of windshield wiper fluid you could be in trouble. Just make sure you don’t mix the fluid with water to prevent it from freezing.

The same holds true for antifreeze.  You don’t want to mix it with water, or even put in straight antifreeze, as a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water provides the greatest freeze protection.

·         Check the battery:

Cold weather can cause the battery in your car to die, especially older batteries. When the temperature is below zero, your battery loses over 50% of its power. Replacing the battery or plugging your existing battery in overnight may be necessary.

·         Maintain a proper fuel level:

It is important to maintain a proper fuel level in your car during the winter months. With plunging temperatures, you should never let your vehicle’s gas level get below a quarter tank. When the weather is in the negatives, the condensation in your fuel-tank could freeze, leaving you with a huge headache.

Hot weather climate:

·         Check the coolant:

The coolant in a vehicle should be changed as required in your owner’s manual in order to ensure it is fresh and working properly. The level of coolant should be checked regularly in order to keep your vehicle’s engine from overheating in the hot weather.

·         Annual check-ups:

Annual checkups are important no matter which climate you live in. For hot weather, it is important to have annual checkups in order to make sure your car’s cooling system is working properly. A simple fix could make all the difference in the hot weather for both you and your vehicle. Small imperfections in your car’s engine can easily be identified in these checkups which are sure to save you from problems in the hot summer months.

Take our online quiz for more tips on caring for your car in extreme driving conditions.