Winterizing your car is crucial for ensuring safety and reliability during the challenging winter months. Proper car maintenance can help protect your vehicle from the harsh conditions of snow, ice, and cold weather. One essential aspect of winter car care is lubrication. Here, we’ll explore six critical places to lubricate your car before winter to keep it running smoothly and safely.
1. Lubricate Window Tracks
Winter weather can take a toll on your car’s windows and mechanisms. To ensure smooth window operation during the cold season, lubricate your window tracks with silicone spray or dry Teflon. Silicone remains slick even in low temperatures, reducing wear and tear on your window motors. Lower the window glass and apply dry Teflon spray to the front, rear, and top window channels on each door. Work the lubricant in by running the window up and down a few times, and clean off any overspray with glass cleaner.
2. Car Weather Stripping
Your car’s door weather stripping can become vulnerable to ice buildup and damage during winter. To prevent the rubber from bonding to metal doors and maintain a smooth door operation, apply silicone lubricant to all car door weather stripping. This will keep doors opening more smoothly and help prevent tears in the weather stripping, which helps winterize your car and seal out water, snow, and cold air.
3. Hood Latch
The hood latch is often overlooked, but it’s essential for easy access under the hood, especially during snowy conditions. To keep your hood latch working smoothly, use aerosol lithium grease on the mechanism. Insert the spray straw to ensure the lock door is open and apply a quick shot of dry Teflon spray into the lock cylinder. This maintenance will prevent struggles with the hood latch when you need to add windshield wiper fluid or perform other under-the-hood tasks.
4. Lock Cylinders
Lubricating your vehicle’s lock cylinders is crucial for ensuring that your car door locks don’t freeze, winterizing your car. Properly lubricated lock cylinders make key insertion and turning easier, reducing the risk of damage to the lock mechanism or broken keys. It also helps prevent rust and corrosion from forming within the lock.
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5. Door Hinge
Door hinges are another vital part of your car that requires regular lubrication, especially when preparing for winter. Spray lithium grease on the door hinges to keep them opening smoothly and prevent rust. Start by wiping the hinge area with a clean rag and then apply lithium grease. Move the hinge several times to work the grease into the hinge, ensuring you reach both sides. Wipe away any excess grease to prevent the accumulation of debris.
6. Fuel Tank Door and Gas Cap
Without winterizing your car, road salt can lead to corrosion of the gas cap and the door to your fuel tank, causing rust and making it difficult to open. To prevent these issues, apply WD-40 to the gas tank door’s hinge several times a year. This will ensure it continues to open and close smoothly without any problems. Remember not to allow the WD-40 to sit on your car’s exterior paint.
Understanding the types of lubricants is also essential. While lubricating your car, it’s important to use the right products:
- Silicone lubricants are known for their resistance to extreme temperatures and water-repellent properties, making them suitable for rubber parts and plastic components.
- Lithium grease is a heavy-duty general-purpose lubricant used in industrial and automotive applications, providing excellent mechanical stability.
- Dry multi-purpose lubricants, often containing Teflon, create a dry film on the surface, reducing friction and providing long-lasting lubrication. They are best suited for applications where non-greasy lubrication is needed.
In summary, maintaining these six crucial areas in your car with proper lubrication can help ensure that your vehicle operates smoothly, even in the toughest winter conditions. Keep your car safe, reliable, and ready for the challenges of winter with these simple maintenance steps.
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- “6 Critical Places to Lubricate Your Car Before Winter.” Family Handyman. October 19, 2023
- “Grease 6 Spots on Your Car for Better Winter Driving.” The News Wheel. December 30, 2020.