By far the number one question we get this time of year is, “What can I do to prepare my car for winter?” We know other companies run promotions around this, but the purpose of this article isn’t to advertise to you. It’s to help you prepare your car for cooler weather based on the decades of data we have about what goes wrong when temperatures drop.
There are three main things you need to do to winterize your car. These things serve as a very effective insurance policy against breakdowns, overheating and other temperature-related car problems.
- Full radiator flush -- help clean and prepare your radiator for cold weather. Your radiator is the heart of your car during fall and winter. Because of this, it’s good to remember the old cliché: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
- Pay attention to your water pump -- before temperatures get too ugly, take a step to protect this critical part and prevent the formation of rust and corrosion.
- Take a proactive measure against leaks in your radiator. The worst time to find out you have a major leak is on your drive into work on a bitter winter morning, so take a simple step to nip leaks before they start.
We recommend you begin with our Bar’s Leaks Radiator 10 Minute Flush (p/n 1211), which is a simple and very affordable way to ensure your radiator is clean and in top condition. It’s compatible with all automotive cooling systems. It’s safe to use on aluminum and plastic radiators. And it is best used when performing a normal cooling system service, like an antifreeze flush and fill (which is another good idea before the cold weather starts).
PROTECT YOUR WATER PUMP
One of the most troublesome parts of your car when temperatures go sub-freezing is the water pump. If this breaks, you’re in trouble, period. We recommend you pre-treat your water pump with Bar’s Leaks Cooling System Water Pump Lube with Anti-Rust (p/n 1311). This product protects aluminum, copper, iron and all other parts of the cooling system to help prevent the formation of rust and corrosion. In addition, the water-soluble oil formula lubricates the thermostat and the water pump seal, giving you broad protection against failure. It also lubricates the thermostat, another important (and often overlooked) part of your cooling system.
Not many people think about their water pump as part of a winterization schedule -- until it’s too late.
TAKE CARE OF ANY RADIATOR LEAKS BEFORE COLD WEATHER MAKES THEM WORSE
If you have even the smallest leak in your radiator, now’s the time to squash it. Our Bar’s Leaks Cooling System Repair (p/n 1150) is not only designed to stop any leaks you might have, but also condition and protect your system against future breakdowns. In our experience, for many vehicles this is your last chance before paying an expensive repair bill or replacing the vehicle.
IF YOU OPERATE A SNOW PLOW...
Don’t ignore one of our most popular winter products to help keep your snow plow in top condition: our Bar’s Leaks Jack Oil with Stop Leak (p/n HJ12). Compatible with all snow plow fluids, this formula helps prevent leaks and condition seals.
Your plow is a money-maker during the winter months. Don’t find yourself missing billable days because your plow is inoperable. Take one simple, affordable step to make sure your plow is reliable as you need it to be when the snow starts falling.
Thanks for reading. Hopefully, you and your car enter the colder months knowing you have a few good insurance measures against winter breakdowns in place.