Winter is in full swing and as temperatures continue to drop, the number of vehicle issues you can encounter will start to rise if you don’t take the proper precautions.
The cold can have multiple effects on your truck, so be sure to take the time to winterize your fleet in order to reduce downtime and keep crews safe. Here is a list of things to check before Old Man Winter comes knocking at your door.
Extreme cold temperatures can pull voltage from a battery, making it harder to start. It is important to have it tested before freezing temperatures hit. If the battery is close to the 48-72-month cycle, you should go ahead a replace it. If not, check the electrical wiring for damage or fraying.
It's not uncommon for tires to deflate in colder weather. This is due to the fact that air density increases in cold weather. But deflated tires can be a risk on icy roads so it's important to keep up with adding air.
Check all of your fluids, as they will thicken as the temperature drops. Oil, antifreeze, power steering, brake, and transmission fluids should all be monitored. To keep the engine from freezing, a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and coolant should keep fluids from freezing at temperatures as low as minus 34 degrees.
For motor oil, consider using a lighter grade in the winter months. To avoid diesel fuel from gelling, add anti-gel fuel additives and look for high cetane ratings at the pump. Check your owner’s manual for specific guidelines.
Check and replace your windshield wipers if needed. Make sure they are not stuck to the glass before driving anywhere and don’t have them set to automatic in the winter in case they are stuck, and try to move when you start the car, as this can blow a fuse.
Keep extra bottles of washer fluid in the truck as well in case you run out.
Because getting stranded in adverse winter weather can be a possibility, it is best to follow the Boy Scout motto and always be prepared. This means you should have a winter weather emergency kit in every vehicle that includes a first aid kit, flashlight, blankets, winter clothes, ice scraper, jumper cables, water, dry food snacks, cell phone charger, and other survival supplies.