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How to Keep Your Car Running in Cold Weather


Johannes Simon — Getty Images

Who hates this cold weather as much as you? Your vehicle! Here’s some tips for keeping your car purring through this arctic blast!

#1 Batteries

Chris Jackson — Getty Images

In these below zero temps the liquid in your car battery can freeze. If your vehicle has been sitting for a few days it is most likely frozen. If it is frozen carefully unhook the ports to the battery and bring it into a warm area. While its unhooked, it can’t hurt to wire brush the ports free of corrosion. Corrosion is another way your battery can fail. Avoid the headache by starting up your car for a few minutes. I fire up my mean machine for a little bit before bed.

#2 Antifreeze


Make sure your vehicle is topped off with the correct amount of antifreeze. Antifreeze reduces your vehicle’s engine heat as well as keeping it from freezing. If you need to top it off, make sure you have no less than 40% antifreeze or more than 60% antifreeze. A 50-50 mixture of water and antifreeze is best.

#3 Tires

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Cold weather will deplete the air pressure in your tires. Check them often and keep them at the right PSI. Incorrect tire pressure poses safety problems and reduces the vehicle’s gas mileage.

#4 Gasoline

Mario Tama — Getty Images

Have about half a tank of gas in the vehicle before you let it sit overnight in these cold temperatures. Gasoline dosen’t nessaraly have a freezing point. -97 is a ball park estimate of when it could freeze solid. Gas has many different hydrocarbons and molocules, that mixture depresses the onset of solidification. It’s kind of like dish soap. Soap turns goopier before it eventually hardens. With just a little gas left in the tank, condensation can freeze up openings to hoses and ports that pump the gasoline. Pour some dry gas into the tank to help prevent that.

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