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How to Prep Your Nissan for an Illinois Winter

britain_builds_light_cars-_the_british_automobile_industry_uk_1945_d26134-285x300Fall is ending, and this means winter is on its way, and winter is often hard on vehicles. Cars are left out in the cold, and if unprepared your car will begin to show signs of trouble. But, you can avoid all that trouble by taking some simple steps now. Here are some tips for how you can prep your Nissan for an Illinois winter.

Change Your Oil

Maintaining your engine’s oil is always important, but during the winter months it is even more important. Dirty oil is thick in comparison to clean oil, which makes it challenging to move through your engine properly. Cold, dirty oil is even thicker and can easily clog up and even ruin your engine by not lubricating things properly. So take a few minutes before the temperatures drop to get your oil changed. 

Cold Weather Fluids

In addition to changing your oil, it is important to make sure you change your other fluids, such as the coolant and windshield washer fluid, from summer fluids to winter fluids. Winter fluids have an anti-freeze component in them that prevents them from freezing during frigid temperatures. By changing these fluids out you not only save yourself from the frustration of your windshield washer fluid being frozen when you need it, but you also supply your engine with the fluids it needs to run properly. Plus, frozen fluids expand, which can cause cracks in their holding tanks and the radiator.

Check Your Wipers

You changed your windshield washer fluid so it won’t freeze, but did you check to see if your wipers are in good shape? No amount of washer fluid will help if your wipers have damaged rubber. Check your windshield wipers, and replace them if they are worn.

Check Your Battery

Older batteries can function well during the warmer months, even when the fluids are fairly low. However, during the winter months a battery with low fluids and low capacity will leave you in a rough situation. Use a voltmeter to measure the voltage of your battery. A good battery will show a voltage of around 12.5 volts. Then, clean and check your fluids to make sure they are all a half-inch above the plates. If either of these items are low, you might need to replace your battery.

Check Your Tires

You may or may not think much about tires during the year, but when winter hits they can truly be lifesavers. For your tires to function properly in poor weather they need to have a good amount of tread, so if the tread is getting low, winter is the time for new tires. Additionally, if you live in an area that sees lots of snow and ice each year, you might consider putting snow tires on your car. Snow tires have a larger tread as well as studs in them that help grip the road during snowy and icy conditions.

Don’t let the winter months damage your Nissan. Take time now, and prep before the cold settles in.