Winterizing Your Car

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Before the snow arrives there are several things you should consider doing to winterize your car. 

• It is a good idea to get a tune-up and lube-oil-filter change. 
• Good, gripping tires will help battle icy roads (chains are usually only needed for mountain driving and sometimes in hilly areas). 
• Engine heaters are convenient and even necessary at times. The circulating block heater or a percolator pump keeps the engine block from freezing. 
• An interior heater will help keep the car upholstery from cracking. • An oil pan heater will keep engine oil in a liquid state. 
• A battery blanket or plate will keep the battery acid in a liquid state. The most visible feature to your vehicle once these items are installed is an electrical plug to operate all your new equipment. Probably one of the first out-of-the-ordinary things you'll see while driving around Eielson will be the head-bolt outlets. They're the gray metal posts with electrical sockets mounted on top visible in most parking lots. Base housing units have them too, although they're mounted to the side of the building. The HBOs allow you to plug your car in when it sits in the cold. People are not allowed to plug in their heaters on base until the temperature dips to 10 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, or 20 degrees for diesels. 

The following items should be checked for proper operation and condition in addition to the installation of heating devices: 
• lights, horn, windshield wipers and blades 
• brakes, fan belts and pulleys, heater and defroster 
• exhaust system (pipes, manifold and muffler), cooling system (including thermostat) and battery 
• use lighter weight motor oil, transmission fluid and differential lubricants 
• check your tire pressure as cold weather may make your tires appear flatter 
• keep an ice scraper, blankets, food, cold-weather gear, survival candles, matches and flares in the backseat to avoid freezing in the trunk and for quick and easy access. 

In the wintertime, keep a full tank of gas; an empty tank collects moisture that can freeze gas lines. Don't use the emergency brake because the brake cable can freeze.


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