Elgin Auto Service: How to Winterize Your Car

Winter’s coming – are you ready? It’s never too early to winterize your vehicle. And while maybe you haven’t dug out the snow boots yet, you will. The last thing you want is a vehicle that can’t handle frigid temperatures, but then, if you live in Elgin, Illinois, you already know how cold it can get. 

Here are some tips and hints to help you get going.

Roll down the windows and let cold air in. Unlike warm air, it will be dry.

According to Road and Track, the fastest way to defog your windshield is to turn the heat on to its maximum setting. Then, turn the AC on, pulling the moisture from the air as it passes over the cooling coils.

Turn your heater on a cooler setting and then turn it up a little at a time. This should reduce the moisture in the air, stopping it from fogging up again when you turn the heating off.

Deicing And Defogging Your Windows 

First of all, slow down. It takes a little time to defog and deice your windows. You do yourself no favors if you don’t leave some wiggle room in the morning. 

It helps to understand why your windows fog. If the temperature inside your car is hot and the outside is freezing, fog will build up on the windows. There’s nothing you can do about the outside temp, but what about the inside?

Try these steps:

Keep your windows clean. The more debris, mud, and dirt you have on your windows, the more condensation there will be.

Keep the air inside the car as dry as possible. The more humid it is, the more fog you will have.

It’s only normal to want to grab a cup of coffee on your way out the door, especially if you suffer from brain fog. And the coffee’s not hurting anything; until you pop the top and steam escapes into the vehicle’s cabin. Then you’ve got trouble; vapor plus freezing outside equals window fog. Your breath is naturally warm; you don’t need to add to the moisture. 

Suggestion: Bring your coffee in a travel mug and keep it closed, or drink it at home. You’re not alone; we all want that cup of joe. But do we want the fog that goes with it? It’s surprising how many people don’t associate coffee with condensation on the windows. Fog is due to humidity.

Don’t underestimate the role that the AC has in keeping window interiors steam-free. Run your air conditioner and heater at the same time. Don’t worry about freezing; the heat will overpower the cold. Don’t use recirculation; you’ll just be moving moist air around. The trick is to use the air compressor to push the warm air out and keep the air dry. 

Suggestion: Have your car winterized at your local Elgin repair shop and ask your mechanic to ensure your compressor is working.

Have Your Car Inspected by an Elgin Auto Service Provider

Tires are what get you from point A to point B. You’re not going anywhere without them. You’ll want to ensure they have enough air and plenty of tread for those slick roads ahead.

Remember the Lincoln Test? Insert a penny into the groove of the tires. If you see Lincoln’s head, you’ll want to make an appointment with your mechanic post-haste. Tires without sufficient tread are dangerous.

Don’t forget the tire pressure. Without good tire pressure, you risk having a blowout, so this is another area where you’ll want to pay attention.

Elgin auto service
Photo by Juha Lakaniemi on Unsplash

Emergency Kit

Have you got a winter box? It’s simple; all you do is get a tote and put in the supplies you’d need in an emergency. Pack items you can keep in the box all year, and add last-minute things as needed. That way, you can remove the box in the spring and put it back in the winter without hassle. Just do a quick inventory and replenish the supplies on your checklist as needed. Here’s what you should pack in your box:

  • Radio with working batteries
  • Blankets
  • Snacks: chocolate bars; things like jerky 
  • Water
  • Extra socks, gloves, hats
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Emergency warning devices
  • Hand tools
  • You’ll probably have your cell phone, but could you pack an extra charger? 
  • Coat
  • Boots

Suggestion: Remember, you can’t always see black ice. It’s the devil in plain view. You know those signs that say “Bridges freeze before roads”? It’s true. You can drive along, and suddenly, your car turns in circles on a bridge. There’s not much you can do about black ice except to watch out for it and learn how to steer when your car is spinning.

Anyone who drives a vehicle should take training in how to stop a car on an icy road and what to do if it happens to you.

There is a wealth of information with tips on how to start and stop on icy roads, how to keep your windows from fogging, and supplies to stock up your vehicle should you have car trouble.

Critical Tip for the Best Elgin Auto Service

Most important is being proactive: establishing a good relationship with a local auto repair service, asking plenty of questions, and trusting them to winterize your car.