MINT HILL, NC – First and perhaps most obviously, keep your car as warm as you can. In comparison to many northern states our winters are pretty mild, so you don’t need to dump money into things like block heaters, but keeping the car garaged if possible is a great start. even garages without HVAC are still warmer than the outside and your car is protected from frost, wind, and rain that could freeze overnight. If this isn’t possible, a nice car cover can also help keep some of those elements away from the car, at least.
Secondly, turn off your accessories before you start the car. I know this is the last thing you want to hear when it’s 28 degrees outside and you really want that heater, but when it’s cold you put a lot of strain on your battery and it’s best to let it focus on getting the car started before doing anything else. Speaking of…
Let the engine run for a few minutes. Solid advice any time of year but especially prevalent when cold, let things get warm and lubricated before you drive away. The overwhelming majority of engine damage happens on startup. Minimize this damage by letting it sit and warm up.
Lastly, make sure your fluids are winter-ready. Make sure you’re using the correct weight oil and that you’re using a coolant and not water. Water expands when it freezes, and it has a high freezing point at 32 degrees. Fluids freezing can and will damage your cooling system!