EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PREPARING YOUR BMW FOR WINTER WEATHER

When temperatures plummet, your engine is forced to operate in sub-optimal conditions, and icy conditions can make gaining traction difficult. Fortunately, there are ways that you can help prepare your vehicle for the winter conditions ahead. Just follow these tips from your BMW dealer serving the Jersey Shore

HAVE YOUR BRAKES CHECKED

Icy roads are one of the most dangerous things that come with winter weather, and if your brakes aren’t working as well as they should, that can compound the problem. If you’ve been noticing any odd squeaking or a decrease in responsiveness from your brakes, it may be in your best interest to have them checked before it’s too late.

INSPECT YOUR TIRES

BMW drivers who live in or near Eatontown might not need snow tires, but no matter the type of tires on your vehicle, it’s best to ensure that they have sufficient tread. Without good tread, your tires aren’t going to get much traction, and that’s going to be a problem in icy conditions.

What many people don’t know is that even on dry roads, winter tires offer greater safety during the cold season. This is because the rubber compound used in winter tires remains soft even at low temperatures. The softer the tire is, the better it adapts to the road surface. This gives you the best traction possible, which means greater safety.

At temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, winter tires fare much better than summer tires. Don’t wait to change your tires until the first snowfalls.

Keep an eye on tire pressure as well, as cooler air can lead to a drop in tire pressure!

CHANGE YOUR OIL

Did you know that there are lighter oils that can help the way your engine performs in cold weather? If you didn’t, now’s a good time to ask your mechanic about it. Switch out your old oil before the cold weather comes through!

CHECK YOUR BATTERY

A battery check is important because an old battery will fail to start your car in extremely cold weather. You definitely do not want to be stuck somewhere with a car that won’t start and no heat!

FILL YOUR ANTIFREEZE

There are two liquids in your vehicle you must always check before winter arrives.

Check whether there’s enough antifreeze in the engine coolant. If it freezes, you may end up damaging your engine. Normally your BMW Service Center will check whether there’s enough antifreeze in the coolant during an inspection. To know if you have enough antifreeze in your coolant reservoir, have it checked at your next service appointment at Circle BMW or a gas station.

You should also check your windshield wiper fluid. If it freezes, you may end up with dangerously low visibility. Road salt that dries on your windshield can completely obscure your view. This is why you should put enough antifreeze in your wiper fluid so the hoses and nozzles don’t freeze. This may also be a good time to change your wiper blades. Especially if your wipers leave streaks ad smears or make that annoying squeaking sound.

CLEAN BOTH THE INSIDE AND OUTSIDE OF YOUR WINDSHIELD

Good visibility is particularly important in winter. If you followed the previous steps and still have streaks, clean the outside of your windshield with a glass cleaner. Dirty windshields also fog up faster than clean ones! So don’t forget to keep the inside of your windshield as well. Dust, fingerprints, and cigarette smoke can leave a dirty film that can impair visibility, especially when driving at night and the glare from lights is intensified.

PACK AN EMERGENCY KIT

In the event that winter weather leaves you sidelined, it’s best to be prepared. Keep an emergency kit with a warm blanket, extra gloves, high-energy snacks, a first aid kit, and an extra pair of clothes somewhere in your vehicle in case of an emergency. In all likelihood, you’ll never need it, but you’ll be glad you have it if you do.

KEEP THE ESSENTIALS HANDY

In addition to the standard equipment such as a warning triangle, first aid kit, and reflective vest, these accessories will help you get your car ready for winter:

  • Car windshield cover or complete car cover – makes it easier to remove snow and ice from your car.
  • De-icer – this spray softens the layer of ice so you can easily take it off with an…
  • …ice scraper – which you’ve placed somewhere convenient, like in the side-door pocket.
  • Car brush – to sweep the snow out of your car.
  • Chamois or anti-mist cloth – to clear up fogged windows, so it’s best to keep it in the driver’s side door pocket.
  • Wool blanket – in case you get stuck in traffic for a long time.
  • Work gloves – to mount snow chains or to de-ice windows.
  • Flashlight – if you need to fix something on your car.
  • Towing cable – to pull your car or someone else’s out of the snow.
  • Replacement bottle of antifreeze for the windshield – because there is never a gas station nearby when you need one.
  • Snow shovel and filled gas can – if you are driving in extremely snowy and sparsely populated areas such as Alaska or Lapland.
  • Jumper cables or emergency starter kit with battery pack – this way you can help out drivers who aren’t as well prepared for winter as you are (see tip 9).

Bringing your vehicle in for a checkup before winter is always a good idea, and did you know that Circle BMW is the home of an award-winning service center? If you’d like to have our BMW-trained technicians take a look at your vehicle, don’t hesitate to contact Circle BMW online or by giving us a call at (732)440-1200 today!

Categories: News, Service, Parts

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