Ownership: Maintaining your car's heating and cooling system for winter

Check Out the Amazing Stories Behind These Barn Finds & Hidden Gems at the 2016 MCACN Show

  Check Out the Amazing Stories Behind These Barn Finds & Hidden Gems at the 2016 MCACN Show There are always a lot of very interesting cars at the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals, but regardless of what brand or make you personally appreciate, it seems everyone ends up in the Barn Finds & Hidden Gems section of the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. Author and Automotive Archeologist Ryan Brutt gets credit for the legwork and persistence that creates this popular display each November. While “the rarer the better” is a good MCACN creed even here, with these cars it is often the stories that make each one special. How did it get from the past to the present? Where it was found? What will be done to it later? Mr.

  Maintaining your car's heating and cooling system for winter © CARiD winter fluids

Despite the unseasonably warm weather, there's no denying it: Winter is coming. As temperatures drop and road conditions become more treacherous, it is especially important to perform preventative maintenance checks now so you aren't left out in the cold. One of the most crucial maintenance checks to focus on is your heating and cooling system.

While this might seem like an obvious preventative step, many drivers will focus on their heating system and fail to realize that the health of your air conditioning system matters even when the temperatures are below zero. In the colder months your AC is hard at work behind the scenes to help defrost and defog the windshield by pulling humidity from the air. Be sure to test your defogger to ensure everything is operating as it should, and if you notice defogging issues it might be time to recharge your system or check for a leak in the hose, lines or other components of the AC system.

2018 Kia Stinger GT Winter Drive

  2018 Kia Stinger GT Winter Drive Limited Time Only: All You Can Eat Frosted DonutsTemperatures in this part of Lapland are supposed to range from 5 to minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 15 to minus 40 degrees Celsius) during this time of year (mid-February), with daily average snowfall of approximately 30 mm (about 5 inches)--excellent conditions for ice formation.

In terms of your heating system, be prudent about doing a performance check of all functions before the coldest day of the year rolls around. For the sake of your car's health and the health of your wallet, drivers should routinely perform basic servicing such as periodic radiator coolant flushes and refills. At the very least, drivers should be proactive in checking the quality of the antifreeze in their vehicle. For example, if you live in the Northeast, you want the freeze-protection number to be at least -20 degrees Fahrenheit.

To check that everything is operating smoothly in your vehicle, turn your heating system to the highest heat setting, set the fan speed to high and cycle through all air flow controls (floor, dash, windshield, etc.). If you discover during this process that your car produces some heat, but not enough to keep you comfortable in the coming months, a simple cause could be low coolant levels.

Spied! 2019 Chevrolet Silverado Winter Testing

  Spied! 2019 Chevrolet Silverado Winter Testing Dual-Exit Exhaust, LED Lighting Among Exterior DetailsLate last month, we brought you spyshots of what is believed to be the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 testing. The wrapping and cladding was designed to give the onlooker the impression that the truck was a Ford F-150. The beltline cut-down on the camouflage wrap is a signature feature of the F-Series. However, close proximity to General Motors facilities and other vehicles leads us to believe we’re looking at the next-generation Silverado. Here, we see the truck winter testing.

Topping off the coolant is quick and easy, but the more troubling issue is why the level was low in the first place - your car shouldn't be losing its antifreeze. There are several possible reasons behind an antifreeze leak, ranging from a leak in the radiator cap, an internal leak in the system, hose cracks, or a damaged water pipe. If you can't seem to figure out the cause of your problem, seek the advice of an experienced professional who can diagnosis the exact cause and assess the severity of the issue.

If you're running a standard performance check and notice that your car is heating up well but the interior blow motor is unusually noisy, do not dismiss this issue. The most likely cause of the problem is outside debris such as leaves and twigs from the fall months that have worked their way into the heater box. Be sure to remove your access panel to clean out any unwanted debris, and if you keep your car outside be sure to check no animals are building a home in there for the winter (seriously!).

Testing GM’s Teen Driver System: Like a Toddler Leash, But for New Drivers

  Testing GM’s Teen Driver System: Like a Toddler Leash, But for New Drivers We are here on this bright winter morning, as mutually freaked-out father and daughter, to check it out.As I bend this 2017 Chevrolet Malibu into the back chicane on M1 Concourse’s 1.

For the average driver, these preventative steps and check-ups should be more than enough to ensure a healthy heating and cooling system as winter approaches. However, if you live in an area where temperatures regularly stay below freezing for a long period of time, it may be smart to invest in an engine heater, also referred to as a block heater.

The basic purpose of an engine heater is to keep the oil temperature up so it doesn't gel and when the engine starts cause damage because it cannot lubricate properly. Traditional models replace one engine freeze plug with a heating element, and there are also versions which install in line with a radiator hose, oil pan heating pads, and battery heating pads.

With winter comes the busy holiday travel season, so it is especially important to test your heating and cooling system now to guarantee a merry, and warm, driving experience.

Follow MSN Autos on Facebook

Breaking Records at the 'Ring: Subaru Steps It Up With a WRX STI .
Taking our favorite pair of Boxers on a few laps of the Green HellBut in order to even come close, the weather needs to cooperate, which it's not doing. As if a mind-boggling 73 turns weren't enough of a challenge, the Nordschleife ups the ante by featuring different weather systems at the same time around its generous 12.9-mile expanse. One section might be sunny and dry while another is foggy or hailing. Or wet. Right now, it's all wet.

See also