Ready for Rain & Snow? How to Prepare Your Acura for Winter Driving - Dick Hannah Acura of Portland | Portland Acura Dealer

Ready for Rain & Snow? How to Prepare Your Acura for Winter Driving

With winter weather fast approaching, it’s important for your car to be prepared in advance for the harshest of conditions. From using the tires to having emergency gear for being stranded. Here are some things you can do to prepare your Acura for winter driving.

Are Your Tires Winter Ready?

Lack of traction is one of the biggest concerns when it comes to winter driving. Tires is where the rubber meets the road – quite literally. Have you checked to make sure your tires are winter ready?

  • Proper Tire Type & Tread Depth. Bald tires and snow are never a good idea. But the same could be said for tires that are worn or for dry weather performance. Start with checking to make sure your tires have the proper tread depth. Both Oregon and Washington list a minimum tread depth of 2/32” – but in winter conditions, this minimum may still not be safe.
  • Proper Tire Pressure. Check your tire pressure. With cooler temperatures your tire pressure will decrease about 1 psi for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit the outside air temperature drops below the temp the tire pressure was set at. What does this mean for you? Means it’s probably a good time to check next time you go to the service station. Factory recommended tire pressures can be found on this sticker inside the driver’s door jamb. If you’re still unsure, swing by Dick Hannah Acura and we’ll check them for you.


Winter Tires and Chains/Z Cables

Don’t want to take any chances? Dedicated winter tires might be for you! Snow tires are built with a rubber compound that stay soft in cold weather. This will improve your traction and control in snow and ice compared to all-season tires. Snow tires are useful on front wheel drive cars as well -they aren’t limited to AWD cars/SUVS.

An alternative to snow tires is z cables or chains. Acura recommends using tire cables because of limited tire/fender clearance. Technical note: If you’re purchasing cables for your SH-AWD Acura, please install them on the front. The SH-AWD drivetrain is technically a front wheel drive biased vehicle so the tire cables go on the front wheels.

Cold Weather + Weak Battery = Poor Starting

Acura Battery TestCold weather with a good battery will make your car slow to start. If you have a battery that’s weak or failing, your car will likely struggle or may not start at all. We recommend getting the battery tested and replaced (if needed) before getting stranded with a car that won’t crank. Consider keeping a set of jumper cables or a jump box in your car just in case. These items will come in handy should you find yourself unable to crank the car over and need an alternative plan.

Can You See Me Now? Windshield Wipers & Washer Fluid

High quality wiper blades and non-icing washer fluid can be the difference between avoiding an obstacle and an accident when the weather is poor and visibility is low. The fine edge of wiper blades is damaged by dirt and UV light from the sun, so annual replacement is always recommended for best performance.

A de-icing washer fluid is great for freezing conditions – both for melting ice and unfreezing stuck wiper blades. Not all de-icing fluids are created equal, give our service center a call and we can help you get the right de-icing washer fluid and wiper blades that fit your Acura like the factory intended.

Cold Weather Cooling System Checkup

While not the first thing to think of in the cold weather, having your cooling system checked before below freezing weather comes is a great idea. Things to check:

  • Antifreeze. Without the right mixture of antifreeze in your coolant, there is a risk that water within your cooling system could freeze, leading to damaged hoses, radiator or worse. Factory serviced Acura’s should be fine, but if you’re unsure, we are more than happy to take a look.
  • Old/Brittle Hoses. Over years of being heat cycled, even the best rubber products can get brittle & develop cracks/tears/leaks. In the cold, rubber will shrink more and could be just enough to lead to failure. A cooling system check would include an inspection of hoses to ensure an old hose doesn’t leave you stranded in the cold.


Build an Emergency Safety Kit

Acura Emergency KitYou’ve done everything right and prepped your car for winter but something unexpected happens and you’re stranded – now what? An emergency kit is a great backup plan to ensure your safety until help arrives. These can consist of a number of items, but here’s some suggestions of items to include:

  • Flashlight with extra batteries.
  • Blanket or some extra clothes to keep warm. Space Blankets are great because of how little space they take up. A rain poncho & warm gloves are also good.
  • Extra food and water such as snack bars or anything non perishable.
  • Tow rope in case you’re stuck and need someone’s help to pull you out.
  • Flares/ road triangle, flashing lights.
  • Jumper cables or jump box
  • Duct tape, first aid kit & emergency contact information. Because sometimes you need to improvise.

Of course depending on the personal preferences, you can pack a lot more.

Winterizing Done Right – The Dick Hannah Acura Way

Our Service Team is standing by ready to answer your questions or help with winterizing your vehicle. Our service and parts specialist are always available to make sure you’re ready for anything. Please give us call 503-252-2872 or book an appointment online in time for the fast approaching winter weather.

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