Safe winter driving takes preparation
Winter weather can be unpredictable but your vehicle’s performance shouldn’t be. No matter where your winter travels take you – to the rink, out for errands, to the ski hill or out of town – proper vehicle maintenance from Mopar® can give you the peace of mind that your vehicle is prepared for any weather conditions. From the right winter tires, to reliable batteries, to upgrading to synthetic motor oil for better protection against those cold winter starts, the Mopar Service Experts at your Chrysler, Dodge, FIAT, Jeep® and Ram retailer can give you the confidence you need to take on winter.
Whether your vehicle is brand new or has a few miles on it, remember to bring it to those who know it better than anyone: Mopar Service Experts. You’ll always get the best care at competitive prices – like our Peace of Mind Maintenance Service that includes a detailed review of the following (among other things):
OIL & OIL FILTER
If your vehicles owner’s manual does not already call for semi-synthetic or full synthetic oil, you may want to consider upgrading. In extremely cold weather, synthetic oil is simply better. Originally engineered for military applications, the controlled chemistry and purity of synthetic oil means that it protects your engine the best when you need it most. Even at incredibly low temperatures, synthetic oil remains viscous, allowing it to immediately flow to protect the critical components of your engine during the harshness of those cold weather starts.
A quality, factory engineered oil filter is also a necessity during the winter months. Mopar O.E. filters employ a number of elements that may not be found in those offered by the competition:
- Pressure relief valve – allows the oil to bypass the filter for a limited time, such as oil thickened by cold weather and/or a clogged filter, to ensure that your engine is always protected from oil starvation.
- Anti-drainback valve – holds oil in the filter after engine shut down to avoid a delay in oil pressure buildup once the engine is restarted. Without an anti-drainback valve, pressurized oil would have to fill the filter before traveling onward to protect the engine’s working parts.
Ensure that your oil and filter is changed in accordance to your vehicle’s recommended service interval.
ELECTRONIC BATTERY TEST
During cold weather starts, cranking an engine can take up to twice as much current as is required under normal conditions. Couple this with the fact that your battery produces roughly 33% less power at 0 degrees Celsius – and a weak battery that initially got you on your way, can leave you stranded en route. An electronic test by your Mopar Service Expert will immediately determine whether your battery is up for another winter or whether it’s time to replace it with a new one you can count on. We will also review the overall state of your battery and its connections (posts, cable and fasteners) to ensure that they are in proper working order.
Quality, fully functioning windshield wipers are a staple of safe winter driving. Over time wipers blades deteriorate – the rubber blade itself degrades and the pressure with which it is applied to the windshield lessens – both leading to decreased visibility and safety. A quick inspection of your wiper blades by our factory trained experts will determine whether they need to be replaced or still have a season or two left in them. With the many different types of wiper blades available today, trust our Mopar Service Experts to recommend the option that is best for your vehicle.
WINDSHIELD WASHER FLUID
The second half of the equation when it comes to seeing clearly throughout the winter is the windshield washer fluid. It works in conjunction with your wiper blades to keep your windshield clear and your eyes on the road. Washer fluid is generally comprised of water and methanol – the higher level of methanol, the lower the freezing point of the washer fluid. While most washer fluid won’t generally freeze in the reservoir, once it’s out on the windshield (especially at highway speeds) the methanol evaporates quickly leaving behind the water component of the mixture to freeze. Freezing will occur more quickly if the washer fluid becomes diluted – by mixing summer and winter fluid in the reservoir or letting ice build-up on the windshield prior to using washer fluid. On your next visit to your Chrysler, Dodge, FIAT, Jeep and Ram dealer, have our Mopar Service Experts ensure that your reservoir is not only filled, but filled with the appropriate type of washer fluid to safely keep your windshield clean. In between visits make sure that you have extra jugs of the appropriate washer fluid available so that you can top off the reservoir yourself as needed.
Spare tires should be inspected seasonally for signs of degradation and to ensure that they are properly inflated. During this inspection, tire raising and lowering mechanisms should also be checked for proper function and serviced when necessary. Ask your Mopar Service Expert about proper service and maintenance to ensure that your spare tire is ready and accessible when you need it.
A properly functioning braking system is crucial for safe winter driving. The limited response of worn components and low fluid levels may not provide the level of control needed for safe winter driving. Have your brake system inspected by our Mopar Service Experts to ensure everything is in order and functioning.
Try to keep your vehicle’s fuel tank more than half full. The extra volume can help reduce moisture problems in your fuel system and adds extra weight to your vehicle. A topped-up gas tank will also be an asset if you happen to become stranded.
Our Mopar Service Experts will check your headlights and taillights to make sure they work and are free of debris and obstruction. Daytime running lights allow your vehicle to be seen but do not help with your visibility - any time your visibility is less than 150 metres because of weather you’ll want to use your low beams headlights.
Issues with any of the systems responsible for passenger comfort can often be the symptoms of larger issues under the hood. If you notice changes in the performance of any internal systems, a Mopar Service Expert can quickly diagnose the root cause and provide the appropriate solution.
At precisely 7 degrees Celsius the superior adhesion of winter tires begins to make a difference, regardless of road or weather conditions. With their specifically formulated rubber compounds, winter tires reduce vehicle stopping distances by up to 25% – performance that can make the difference between a close call and calling for a tow. The Mopar Service Experts at your Chrysler, Dodge, FIAT, Jeep and Ram dealer can inspect your current winter tires and advise whether they need replacing and/or provide you with a comprehensive list of quality winter tires to suit your driving style and vehicle’s performance.
HEATING/COOLING SYSTEM Inspection
Our Mopar Service Experts will ensure that all fluids are at factory prescribed levels and will note any deviations in consistency or degradations that can inhibit their performance. We will also inspect the overall components for visible wear or impending failure to ensure that your vehicle will remain reliable when you need it most.
In the event you do become stranded, be prepared with an emergency kit, including booster cables, flashlight, extra batteries, blankets, air pump, extra clothing, bottled water, dry food snacks, prescription and generic medications, ice scraper and snow brush, windshield washer fluid, compact snow shovel, deicing crystals and cat litter (for improving tire traction).
While the entire list above may seem daunting, a quick visit to your local Chrysler, Dodge, FIAT, Jeep and Ram dealership can ensure that your vehicle is ready to take on whatever winter may have in store.