Tips to prepare your car for a Wisconsin winter - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Tips to prepare your car for a Wisconsin winter


Winter is coming, and mechanics are busy preparing drivers' cars for snow and freezing temperatures.

If you're bringing your car in for a tune-up, make sure these things get checked off the list.

The best winter tires have a thicker tread to prevent hydroplaning and sliding, but any tire can lose pressure after a cold night outside.

You can use a gas station air pump for free, but you can also ditch the oxygen.

"Another option is going to nitrogen, and nitrogen is not as affected by the cold temperatures so you won't lose as much in pressure, it will help you keep a steady pressure," Aaron Matz at the CW Auto Clinic in Wausau explained.

Your antifreeze needs to be tested to make sure it doesn't actually freeze.

"What we're looking for when we check it in the wintertime, to get it ready for winter, is that it's going to be safe down to -34 degrees which means that it might have a little bit of slushing, but it won't freeze solid, and impede the flow of that liquid to cool down the engine ," Matz said.

Your car's battery may also need a boost.

"Always important to know if you've got a battery that's going weak, because as those cold temperatures start to affect it, it's going to lose power to be able to turn over your engine," Matz said.

Drivers with older cars may need to switch their oil, but newer cars can stay on synthetic. 

"New cars were already running at full synthetic oil and you're supposed to stick with what you have in there all year round," Matz said.

While it's no fun to sit in a cold car waiting for it to heat up, don't let it idle for too long.

"Running that vehicle in a stationary position for 10-15 minutes at a time can often cause more trouble than just having it go for two minutes, enough to get the oil flowing and then it warms up as you drive," Matz said. 

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