As we start the New Year and the temperature starts to drop there are a few things that we should take into account as far as the well being of our vehicle is concerned. Preventative maintenance during the winter months will ensure that both you and your vehicle are safe and sound.
One of the most popular questions as far as winter prep goes is which oil you should be using in your vehicle. Audi and Volkswagen recommend 5w40 synthetic oil for gasoline engines and 5w30 for TDI diesel engines. We have spent countless hours creating our world famous oil change kits for Volkswagens and Audis to reflect those viscosities accurately under your specific model.
If you reside in an unusually cold climate you might want to use 0w40 engine oil during the winter. The first number is the cold viscosity rating of the oil, the following number is the hot viscosity number when the oil is fully warmed up. For example, a 5w40 oil behaves like a 5 rated single grade oil when cold, however it is still a 40 rated single grade oil when fully warmed up. The reason a 0w40 grade oil would be beneficial to those who live in a colder climate is the fact that it will help lubricate better upon startup as it’s thinner.
Tires are extremely important during inclement weather. When the temperature starts falling our tires tend to become harder. A dedicated winter wheel / tire setup is ideal as winter tires are softer and have a specific tread pattern that will help cut through the snow. Tire pressure also drastically changes when the temperature changes, please check your tire pressure at least once a month once the temperature drops below 40 degrees.
Warming the Car
When we wake up in the morning or are leaving work at the end of the day we want to enter a nice warm vehicle to keep us warm. Many people tend to start their cars and let them warm up however this is doing more harm than good. The proper way to get the vehicle up to the proper operating temperature is to simply drive it. Start the car and let the RPM’s drop until normal, once the RPM’s have dropped you can drive the vehicle until it reaches temperature. Turning a car on and letting it idle to warm up causes more harm than good as there is not enough oil pressure to coat all of the moving parts which causes premature wear. If you check your owners manual it is recommended to just drive the car normally until it properly warms up, after that feel free to press the pedal to the metal!
One of the worse times to be stuck with a dead battery is in the winter. Most of us have experienced a dead battery during the winter and the fact is that your battery was already on its way out when that happened. It is recommended to get your battery checked before the temperature drops. When the temperature is at 80 degrees a fully charged battery has 100% of its power available during startup however when the temperature drops to 32 degrees only 60% is available. Once the temperature reaches 0 degree a fully charged battery only has 40% available. As the temperature drops so does the initial power of the battery during startup. Make sure to check and replace your battery if needed to ensure you don’t get stranded.
It’s always a good idea to keep a set of jumper cables in your vehicle in case your battery fails. You should also keep a first aid kit and a flashlight with new batteries in case of an emergency.