Whether you work from home or you’re simply driving less than you normally do, there is still an important maintenance schedule to follow for optimal vehicle health. This is particularly true during the fall and winter seasons, when temperatures drop in Baraboo, Wisconsin. Even while your vehicle may simply sit in your driveway, these maintenance tips will extend your vehicle’s life, prevent future breakdowns, and save you money in the long run.
In the short term, a dead battery is one of the most common problems you will experience when your vehicle sits — a problem only exacerbated by cold weather. Driving once a week will help to keep the battery charged, but given the snow, sleet, and ice that come with late fall and winter, you may not be able to drive that much. In this case, a trickle charger is a crucial investment, as it is a low-amp charger that monitors the battery and tops it off when it gets low.
The combination of a cold climate and less driving can also affect the fuel. If you have two cars and plan to leave one sit over the winter, add a fuel stabilizer to the gas tank to make sure the fuel doesn’t degrade over the winter. Even if you drive once every week or two, it’s important to prevent the tank from getting too low to avoid fuel coagulation or crystallization.
Finally, switching to a low-viscosity oil at the end of the year will improve cold-weather starting. You should still maintain your oil-change schedule even if you drive less, as the detergents and chemicals in oil will degrade after a few months. In November and December in particular, consider using an oil with a “5W” rating rather than “10W.”
If you need help maintaining your vehicle whether you’re driving less or more, the experts at Don Larson GM in Baraboo, Wisconsin, are here to help. Call or email and we’ll schedule your appointment.