This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Carwash Association. The opinions and text are all mine.
With Winter upon us and road trips in the future, it is important to make sure your car is maintained and ready to go the distance. It is important to think of your investment like any other item that requires cleaning and maintenance.
With the winter here ice, rain, snow and freezing temperatures are brutal on cars. From the exterior finish, trim, wheels, engine, drivetrain, and interior there are many things to protect in cars. We enjoy having a very clean car and make the effort to keep in as new condition as possible. Not only will it stay nice in the interior it will also keep us safe on these winter roads and on long distances.
Here are some of the simplest, yet long-term cost saving tips to protect your investment.
1. Keep Your Car Clean, Inside & Out: For many Americans, the use of ice, salt and sand is necessary for safe travels in freezing winter conditions. We recently went to the Grand Canyon and even though there wasn’t snow on the roads, it was on and off, so salt and gravel was used as precaution. With all the grime and abrasives that come from winter roads, keeping the car washed and clean is very important to keeping it looking its best. Making sure to get a car wash and a fresh coat of wax is important. It helps in preventing in wearing of the clear coat and prevents long-term corrosion that occur when temperatures fall below freezing. Saving water and preventing grime washed off from a car is important living in Southern California and to prevent water and environmental pollution. The International Carwash Association recommends car wash facilities that participate in the WaterSavers® program. With more than 1,500 environmentally friendly enrolled Car Wash locations, the meet a standard that uses 40 gallons (151.5 liters) or less of fresh water for each car cleaned. Find a local one at www.washwithwatersavers.com.
2. Keep Up On Engine Oil Changes: Oil provides the life an engine needs. Without clean oil, any engine will begin wear itself out faster. When oil gets dirty, it gets gritty and with the fast moving, hot engine parts it can wear out an engine much faster. Also maintaining the proper engine oil weight is important depending on climate and where you live. Refer to your cars manual if available or mechanics can always help with information. Depending on temperatures you live in, if it’s really cold you may what to think about using a thinner, less viscous oil. An example is how maybe a car will use 10W-30 for hot summer weather, but for below freezing temps a thicker 5W-30 may be better.
3. Maintain Your Engine Coolant: When is the last time you replaced your engine coolant, especially if your vehicle has over 50,000 miles, do you even know? Engine coolant is just as vital as engine oil in a modern engine. Once an engine overheats, it will completely fail. Making sure to replace your coolant at the manufacturers recommended intervals or earlier is important. Coolant with ethylene glycol has antifreeze properties and will prevent any internal corrosion. There is a test that can be performed, but if you do not know, it may be safe to have it replaced before winter and keep track starting then.
4. Check Your Battery: Your battery may work great during summer but the cold weather can down right drain a battery. It’s better to check your batter before you may get stranded at the wrong time, to me anytime is the wrong time. Many local auto parts retailers can check your battery condition to make sure it holds proper charge and is in reliable condition. Make sure to also examine cables and connections.
5. Tire Safety: With the winter months come the temperatures. We went from 105 degree summers to have days in the 40s here. My tires have seemed to deflate 2-3 psi. Check your tires when they are cold, first thing in the morning is good before heavy driving. Inflate to the recommended tire cold pressure as recommended by tire manufacturer and dealer. If you do not know consult a tire dealer or mechanic. Tires are important, they are the only contact between the road and tons of metal that everyday drivers and passengers rely on.
Also check the tread. New tires are always needed and can be determined using a penny. Take the penny and insert it head down into the center tread. Seeing the top of Lincoln’s head means that your tires have less than 2/32 inch of tread. Having proper tires will increase your MPGs and safety.
Keeping up on the cleanliness and maintenance of your car can keep it looking in its current condition for years to come. Not only will it keep your car running better, but it will also help your vehicle keep its top value.
Help your car and the environment by visiting www.washwithwatersavers.com.
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