Winter is right around the corner, and as those in the Midwest and Northeast know all too well, it can take a serious toll on your truck. If moving to a warmer climate is out of the question, the next best thing is to prepare your truck for battle against the cold temperatures, icy conditions, snow and salt that come along with old man winter. Here are five steps you can take to protect your investment:
- Protect your paint job
Throughout the winter months salt can take a toll on your truck’s finish. So don’t be one of those people who don’t wash their car until spring. At the first sign of winter, wash your truck and apply a good wax to help protect it. Throughout the season, make sure to wash it regularly and pay special attention to keeping your wheels clean.
- Replace your windshield wipers
During a blizzard or after a heavy snowstorm, you’ll be thankful you replaced your wipers. You’ll also want to use washer fluid specially formulated to withstand freezing temperatures. There’s nothing worse than trying to clean your windshield and having your washer fluid freeze into an additional icy layer.
- Replace your tires
Depending on where you live and the terrain you drive on, snow tires might be a good option to get you through the winter. City drivers should consider all-season tires so you don’t have to swap them out in the warmer months. While it’s a good idea to check your tire treads throughout the season, you should also check your tire pressure regularly. Lower temperatures can cause your tire pressure to drop unexpectedly.
- Fill up your fuel tank
Don’t let your gas tank run on fumes in the winter. Condensation can develop on the walls of an empty gas tank allowing water to drip into your gas. If this water seeps into the fuel lines, it can freeze, causing major issues with your engine. A full gas tank can also add weight to your vehicle – about six pounds per gallon – reducing the need for sandbags for vehicles with rear-wheel drive.
- Check your battery
Do you know how old your battery is? Most batteries last for three to five years. So if yours is past its prime, consider replacing it before winter comes. When temperatures approach zero degrees, your engine can slow down, thus needing more current from the battery.
How do you care for your truck in the winter? Share your best tips in the comments below.