car maintenance, Chesapeake Import
Written by Jessica Golden

Caring for Your Car During Winter

If you keep the following car care advice in mind when the temperature drops, your winter driving will be safer and more reliable. Your vehicle will also stay in better condition.

Battery Maintenance

The effectiveness of car batteries can be severely affected by very cold temperatures. At 0 degrees Fahrenheit, a battery has only 50% of the cranking power when it is 80 degrees outside. Have a certified technician check your battery, including its fluid level. If your battery is older than five years, get a high-quality replacement as soon as possible.

Clean Windshield

A driver unable to see out the windows is a road hazard. Clear ice off the windshield by using an ice scraper, not the wiper blades. Car owners parking outside should raise their wipers if there will be snow/ice overnight. This prevents having the wipers frozen onto the windshield. Make sure the windshield washer fluid reservoir is filled with a winter blend solution containing antifreeze. Check that the heater is functioning properly for defrosting. Do the same for your air conditioning, which prevents fogging and dehumidifies the air inside.


Along the same lines as above in terms of promoting driver visibility and safety, have a technician check your headlights and their lenses. In addition to properly functioning, they should be clean and properly aligned. The nights are longer during winter, so you will need your headlights to show the way.

Oil Check

Oil will thicken during cold weather, which will make it harder to crank the engine. Check your owner’s manual for specifics; most cars typically need multi-viscosity oil designated as a “W” on the viscosity index, indicating its formulation for winter use. In general, these will be 5W-20, 5W-30, and 10W-30. These types of oil flow well at lower temperatures, and they can be used for all seasons.

Wiper Blade Replacement

Most car owners do not replace their wiper blades often enough because they are not aware that even some of the best brands become less effective after six months. If you see streaking or missed parts on your windshield, either is a clear indicator that they need to be replaced.

For Great Service

Chesapeake Import has provided reputable and trusted automotive services to Annapolis and the surrounding areas since 1991. Call us for an appointment today at (410) 267-8411. We will be very happy to see you.