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Preparing Your Vehicle for Winter in the Pacific Northwest


Preparing Your Vehicle for Winter in the Pacific Northwest


Happy November, Bristow's Auto Family; pardon us for saying a well-used phrase, but Winter Is Coming. Winter-proofing one's vehicle is key to saving you money and time in the long run. Given our past knowledge of what winter looks like in the PNW, we feel there is no better time like the present to remind you of some essential safety tips you should take to ensure your safety on the road during our fast-approaching PNW winter. 


Below is a list of key vehicle systems to have inspected:


Car Battery

A common winter-car issue is your battery dying. PNW cold can be a recipe for disaster for my car batteries due to cold weather slowing down the chemical reactions in your battery. Your engine's oil will thicken as it gets colder, which means your battery has to work harder to move the oil where it needs to go when cranking the engine over. The cold also means that your vehicle has the added struggle of warming up. "Just as heat speeds up chemical reactions, cold temperatures slow them down. That's why you might feel your battery become sluggish in winter, even though its state of charge may remain unchanged," notes the National Roads and Motorists Association. Prepare your vehicle now with a battery inspection at Bristow's, and Our ASE Certified Technicians will let you know if there are any upcoming issues. This simple check-up can prevent you from getting stuck in a cold and unfortunate situation on the side of the road when you have somewhere else to be! 


Winter Tires

A practical step before the wet winter months sets in is purchasing a new set of winter tires. The importance of having good tires in snowy, icy, or wetter PNW months is so essential to your safety and others around you. Having good traction on our wet and slippery roads can mean the difference between stopping when needed and finding yourself in a fender bender. Winter tires have unique rubber tread designs that allow them to grip the road, superior in wet and cold conditions to all-season tires. Overall, winter tires are designed to improve one's vehicle's ability to brake, steer & accelerate under harsher winter conditions. Are you unsure if winter tires are something you need for your car? Check in with the folks at Bristow's Auto Repair, and they will happily give you advice on the condition of your tires!


Are you curious about the differences in tires? Check out this video by Motortrend to see "Testing Winter Tires Vs. All-Season Tires On Ice."


Tire Pressure 

When the weather is cold, the molecules in the air move slower and get closer together; this causes a loss in tire pressure. The last thing anyone needs is the stress of a flat or a tire light on your dash to come on. Did you know that low tire pressure can be hazardous and lead to an increase in one stopping time? Underinflated tires skid more easily on wet pavement & also cause your brakes to work even harder to slow down. Low tire pressure can also affect fuel economy negatively & overall decreases the lifespan of your tires.


Brake Check

During the colder winter months, weather and road conditions are highly taxing on your vehicle's braking system. Increased brake use stopping and slowing down on icy roads causes your brakes to have to work even harder. Factor in salted roads that cause rust spots & after a season of driving, it is time for a brake system check. During this fall season, it's essential to check your brakes before the coldest months hit to ensure your safety and the safety of others on the road. Ignoring your brakes can lead to severe damage to your braking system, cut down your ability to stop in a timely fashion, causing a potential accident. A brake inspection before and during the coldest month is your best bet to stay safe. 


Windshield Wiper Fluid Check 

How many times have you gone to spray your windshield wiper fluid in the winter months, and it's frozen? Did you know the most common ingredient in windshield wiper fluid is water? This means that when it hits below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, there is a good chance that your fluid will freeze. Other than the nuisance of not clearing your windshield, frozen windshield wiper fluid can also cause your tank to crack with the frozen fluid inside. To solve this issue, there are unique blends of windshield wiper fluid that can withstand the negatives. We recommend using these winter blends even in summer, so you don't get stuck with the summer blend in your tank when the temperature starts to plummet.


We hope you've found our November blog informative and helpful for the upcoming PNW winter months! To prepare yourself and your vehicle, turn to the experts at Bristow's Auto Repair. Make sure to schedule a pre-winter appointment for your safety. At Bristow's, we have some of the most qualified auto mechanics in the business today. We back our work with a 2-year, 24,000-mile warranty, and our entire team focuses on creating a top-notch customer service experience. We specialize in Porsche and BMW service and repair, and you'll know that your car is in the best hands.

We look forward to seeing you soon!


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