There’s no winter in Southern California, right? Wrong! Although Long Beach usually doesn’t see snow or temperatures below freezing, it’s better to be prepared for the worst than neglect your vehicle and get caught in the cold. Or, maybe you’re planning a winter getaway to Big Bear or Lake Arrowhead – then you’ll definitely be seeing icy roads and frigid air.
Cold weather can make existing problems that your vehicle has worse – hard starts, rough idling, stalling, loss of power, etc., can all be exacerbated by low temperatures, so before you take your car into the cold, you should get these fixed.
If you plan to travel somewhere with below freezing temperatures, you should add a bottle of fuel deicer in your gas tank to help prevent moisture from freezing in the fuel line. Keeping your gas tank full will also help prevent moisture from forming. You should also make sure that your radiator is filled with antifreeze coolant instead of water, as if water freezes inside of your engine’s cooling system it can expand and crack parts, disabling your cooling system. Drive belts, clamps, and hoses should also be inspected by a technician to make sure that they are all in working order. The heater and defroster should be in working condition so that your windows do not fog up, making it dangerously hard to see where you’re going. You should make sure that your windshield wiper blades are new and working well, and bring a windshield washer solvent and ice scraper to unfreeze and clean your wiper blades and windshield.
Your battery should be checked for strength with professional equipment, and cleaned of corrosion. You should make sure that all lights and bulbs are in working order, and that the lenses are clean so that they can shine clearly. Check for exhaust leaks and problems; exhaust fumes filling up your vehicle’s passenger compartment can result in illness or even death.
Worn tires are especially dangerous in winter weather. Examine your tires for tread life, wear, damage, and tire pressure. Make sure that your spare tire and jack are in good working condition. Improperly inflated tires and poor alignment make your engine work harder, and diminish fuel economy. You should also make sure that your brakes and transmission are working properly.
Finally, always carry an emergency kit with you: extra gloves, boots and blankets; flares; a small shovel and sand or kitty litter; tire chains; a flashlight and extra batteries; and a cell phone and extra car charger. Put a few “high-energy” snacks in your glove box in case you are stranded for an extended period of time.
Follow these tips, and you will be well prepared for anything the winter weather can throw at you. If you need any repairs or would like a professional inspection, come in to Orozco’s Auto Service or give us a call today at (562) 427-4256. Orozco’s is Long Beach’s number one vehicle repair and service center!