Put a concentrated preparation of an antifreeze solution or a deicer in the windshield washer container.
Keep permanent antifreeze (ethylene glycol base) in your cooling system in sufficient concentration to protect your engine at the lowest temperature expected locally.
Refer to your Owner’s Manual. Some manufacturers recommend a fifty-fifty mix of antifreeze and water for year-round operation.
Flush out the cooling system and change the antifreeze every two years.
The best water to use with antifreeze for coolant is either distilled water or rainwater. Most groundwater contains minerals that form scale in the engine, as does artificially softened water.
The two hoses from the engine to the radiator should be changed when they get soft, usually about every two years; do not wait until a hose bursts.
Watch for any leaks in the cooling system. A milky appearance in the engine oil may indicate that antifreeze is leaking internally. Such a problem is severe and requires a mechanic.
Be conscious of whether the thermostat is working correctly. The heater should put out heat within two miles or five minutes. If not, the thermostat is defective and should be changed.
Refer to your Owner’s Car Maintenance Manual, and put oil in your engine recommended for cold weather.
My manual also states that 5W-20 oil is not suggested concerning sustained high-speed driving. Always use a well-known brand of oil labeled SE quality.
ELECTRIC HEATING OF THE ENGINE
In areas with freezing weather, you can install an electric heating element in the cooling system to warm up the engine on snowy days.
So the cord may be plugged into an electric source. Some parking area facilities in northern states have a 115-volt outlet, so you can plug in your heater cord and keep your engine warm while the car is parked.
You can raise the engine’s temperature in another way.
Put the car in a garage, place an electric light bulb under the hood, and put blankets or a tarpaulin over it.
A heated garage is best, but even a garage attached to the house provides your car with a warmer temperature than a garage that is not connected.
If you must park outside during frigid weather, park your car with the engine facing away from the wind.
Cold weather puts additional strains on the electrical system, and the system should be checked carefully in the fall.
The new battery should be at least as powerful (amp-hour rating) as the manufacturer’s recommendation for your car. Still, a more powerful battery will give an extra reserve of energy.
In freezing weather, the ignition’s battery energy may be reduced because of the additional amount of power required by the starter.
Therefore, have your car tuned before severe weather sets in.
You will be driving more at night and in low visibility conditions in winter, so check the lights frequently to ensure all are in good order.
Ryan Daniel is a car enthusiast, and he has years of experience in the automotive field as an engineer. Now he is also active as an automobile blogger and member of the auto community.