How to Winterize Your Saturn SW1
Winter is the most demanding season for a car. In fact, unless absolutely necessary, do not drive in snow and freezing rain. The roads are slick, thus posing high risk for skidding. The weather is cold, making it hard for the engine to turn on and the battery to efficiently work. But if you really must drive, make sure to prepare your Saturn SW1 for winter driving. With proper maintenance, startups will not have to be hard, and operation should be trouble-free. The following is a list on what you should pay extra attention to before facing the freezing temperatures:
- Ready the electrical system.
As the temperatures drop, the battery efficiency also decreases. With a temperature drop of 80 degrees F to 0 degrees F, the battery can lose 60 percent of its power, and when it reaches -30 degrees F, it may only deliver as low as 5% compared to normal. In that condition, the electrical system will surely suffer, and the very first to give you headache is getting the engine started. You could use a battery that has at least 20% more cold-cranking power, and make sure that no two cells have a specific-gravity reading difference of .05.It would also be wise to have engine and battery heaters if your area reaches extremely low temperatures. You also have to ensure that there is no worn or damaged electrical part. If something appears damaged or excessively worn, get replacements.
- Service the cooling system.
Unexpected cold snap can happen during winter, so you have to service the cooling system before the cold season sets in. The antifreeze should be enough in order to prevent freezing. For mixture recommendation, see antifreeze versus temperature chart in your manual. Older vehicles would need draining and flushing every autumn, especially in the presence of extensive rust and scale. Replacements must be provided if there are any defective parts.
- Ensure optimal fuel system performance.
Icing is a real hassle with the fuel system during extremely cold temperatures. This often happens if the tank is left with more room for condensation to take place. You can prevent this from happening by filling the tank at least half full. If icing forms in the fuel line, you will need to add antifreeze. And so, it's wise to always have antifreeze at hand. Air and fuel filters could also create the same problem, particularly when they are clogged with accumulated debris. Make sure to dislodge them, or better yet install new ones.
- Keep the exhaust in good condition.
Cold weather increases the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, mainly due to the fact that it is necessary for all windows to always be kept closed. If any part of the exhaust system is leaking, you will be put in real danger. Reduce the hazard by ensuring that the system is in good condition.
- Have a reliable braking system.
Since icy roads are slick, traction will be less efficient and so as braking. You need a reliable braking system in such road conditions more than ever. Significantly, you have to check every single detail of the brakes, as well as perform tests to make sure of a strong braking performance. Should you replace worn brake pads, install a new set also for the opposite side in order to prevent your Saturn SW1 from pulling to one side.