Typically speaking, the weather during the winter months in the Puget sound area is pretty mild. I mean let’s face it, we are not going to spend 3 to 4 months under a sheet of ice and snow or suffer many blizzards (but hey its 2020 so you never know). Normally, we have it pretty good in terms of experiencing a pretty mild climate, but don’t let the past weather distract you from just how important it is to Winterize your Subaru. There really is no better time than now to beat the winter freeze, and this year it will be more important than ever.
For many of us we are home watching our kids do Zoom classes during the day and when the weekend comes, it’s just time to get out of the house! As the wet season approaches this will push many of us east, over the mountain passes to a drier climate, and as winter approaches the weather will be cold over there. Your Subaru is the perfect vehicle for Winter, lets get it ready!
Just like its better to disconnect the hose from the spigot at your house before it freezes, it’s really better to service your Subaru prior to it freezing outside. So there really isn’t a better time to service your Subaru for Winter. Be ready, this year has been full of distractions and it will be all to easy to skip this on accident.
*Testing the Coolant freeze protection level.
*Inspecting the condition of the coolant and cooling system including the PH levels.
*Checking and servicing as needed the engine oil.
*Checking the tires for tread depth and proper air pressure.
*Testing the battery. If its a 2015 and newer model Subaru and its still OE, replace it!
*Inspecting and ensuring all of your Subaru’s lights work so you can be seen in the dark.
*Checking the wipers for smearing, streaks or tears in the blade.
*Inspecting the rest of your Subaru’s vital fluids.
*Inspecting all rubber components including belts and hoses for age and wear.
Depending on how you will use your Subaru this winter, we may want to consider other items.
*Do you need Snow tires?
*Are winter wiper blades a better option for you?
*Do you have any long road trips planned to see family during the holiday season?
*If your Subaru has over 150k, have the hoses and radiator ever been replaced?
Items that seemed to work just fine yesterday, can quickly fail during or after a cold front rolls through, the most common things are weak batteries preventing your Subaru from starting and aged coolant hoses turning into a leak or worse an overheat situation. Understanding where your Subaru needs are ahead of winter is really the best way to get through it.
Keep in mind if you own a Subaru with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System, it’s not uncommon to see the light come on during a cold morning, as the temperature drops so does the tire pressure and it may need to be corrected.
Here are some tips for winter driving in the NW with your Subaru
*Try to have more than ½ a tank of gas as much as possible, this minimizes condensation in the fuel tank and helps rear traction as well.
*Try not to drive in the snow if your tires have less than 4/32 of tread life remaining.
*When you shut the Subaru off for the night, first turn off your wipers and headlights.
*When you start your Subaru up cold in the morning or after it’s sat for the day, say up at the pass, make sure your wipers are off and the lights are off prior to starting this is not only good for the battery but it also prevents the wipers from becoming damaged.
*If you’re parked for the day and it’s frozen outside, lift your wipers off of your windshield so they don’t freeze to the windshield, be sure to put them back before you drive away.
*Make sure you have an emergency kit in the car especially if you are taking a road trip, this includes a blanket, water and a flashlight.
*Deicer is a great thing to have around this time of year, not only can you use it to deice the window, it can help with frozen door locks and stubborn doors, keeping a can not in your Subaru is the best advice here.
If you own a newer Model Subaru and you are looking for a tire chain alternative you might try the Auto Sock
Remember after a trip up the pass, or after a lowland snow event it’s very important to wash your Subaru, the chemicals used to deice the roads can be very harmful to your Subaru’s exterior.
Whether you need to have your Subaru winterized or just need an oil change before the weather gets bad, here are a couple of coupons to help you out.