When the weather starts to cool, you undoubtedly will come across tips and advice about “winterizing” your car. But here in Albuquerque, where winters are mild, is all of that really necessary? And do modern cars even need to be winterized? Let’s look at the facts so you can decide for yourself what your car really needs to stay safe on the road this winter.
What is Winterizing?
At one time, cars were much more susceptible to cold temperatures. These days, technological innovations have made many winterizing tips outdated. Most modern vehicles are ready to tackle any weather with minimal assistance from the driver.
In general, the point of winterizing is to ensure the safety and performance of your vehicle in snowy weather. Fall is always a good time to check your car for potential issues – like worn-down tires – but these are safety hazards that persist year-round. There’s certainly nothing special about preparing for the winter season if your car is already on a routine maintenance schedule.
Winter-Ready Car Ownership
Here are a few tips for any-weather-proofing your car:
- Take advantage of synthetic oil, which avoids the need to change oil weights with the seasons.
- Use all-weather tires. In Albuquerque, there’s really no need for snow tires in the winter. Check your tires year-round for tread wear and damage.
- Check that your car heater works correctly, with no strange odors or other problems.
- Have your battery inspected. Newer batteries last much longer in the cold than older batteries. If yours has trouble holding a charge, it may be time to get a new one.
- Check your windshield wipers, brakes, and other safety devices. This should happen routinely, not just in the fall, but preparing for winter is never a bad idea.
If your car is on a regular maintenance routine, winterizing should be mostly unnecessary. If not, now is the time to start the habit. Your car will be safer and last the longest if you pay attention to its needs in all types of weather!