Winter is upon us and any week now we can expect regular sub zero weather and snow. There are a couple of things we at Tolima’s Auto Center recommend having in the car to help you in a bind and some preventative maintenance to save on costly repairs. As important as air conditioning is in the hot summer months so is having heat in the freezing winter months. One of the best things you can do before it gets really cold is have your engine cooling system checked to make sure that your anti-freeze is good and make sure you don’t have any leaks. Your car uses the hot engine coolant to provide heat in your cabin. If your cooling system is not working optimally then you also won’t get heat inside your car.
The most common problems we see are;
- thermostat stuck open
- clogged heater core inside your dash
- bad blend door actuators
- low or worn coolant
- worn water pump
Any of these problems can cause your car to not have heat in the winter months. If you notice that your car is not warming up your cabin as expected then you might want to bring it in to a trusted shop to make sure your car is not having any of the problems mentioned above. You can also check for leaks yourself if you are a Do It Yourselfer, with this tool, which allows you to pressurize the system and find leaks. We referenced this tool on this blog post.
Mityvac MV4560 Automotive Radiator/Cooling System Pressure Test Kit
Most drivers in New York City street park their cars and in the winter months the worst thing you can experience is getting stuck in the snow. When snow builds up your car can get stuck in its park spot or if you are able to drive around you won’t be able to parallel park into a street parking spot because the snow around the spot has hardened into ice. Now your car doesn’t have the traction or clearance to climb over the ice and park. For these situations it is best to carry a collapsible metal shovel. This tool will allow you to dig your car out or get it into a parking spot. Some people carry plastic snow shovels, but those will be useless when the snow and slush harden into ice. And as every New Yorker knows the ice can stick around for weeks in sub zero temperatures.
Rhino USA Folding Survival Shovel w/Pick – Heavy Duty Carbon Steel Military Style Entrenching Tool
Finally the last thing we recommend you have is a jump starter. Winter’s freezing temperatures can be very unforgiving for older car batteries. When temperatures are freezing cold your car battery loses a lot of its ability to store electricity and when you go to start your car it might not have enough power stored to start your car. So, now your car won’t start and you have somewhere to go. Do you call roadside assistance for a jump start or just grab your portable jump starter and start your car right up? Best part is that you can still use this tool year round when you need to charge cell phones, tablets, or laptops.
GOOLOO Jump Starter Battery Pack
Based on our experiences these are the best precautions to take and items to have when surviving a New York City winter. These tools will help you avoid surprises and expensive repairs. These tools also make great Christmas presents for the motorists in your life.