How To Keep Your Volkswagen Going Through Our Southern California Winters
What is the difference between summer and winter in Southern California?
Some have said “not much.” We used to remember days when the temperatures dropped below 60 and a dusting of that strange white stuff would hit in the foothills. Yet, Southern California gets more rain during the winter months than the rest of the year – except for spring. There might be a bit of frost on the car on certain mornings. Or, you might be wanting to go skiing up on Mammoth Mountain, Big Bear Lake or up in Tahoe.
If you are planning to encounter winter – be prepared! Here are a few tips…
WINDSHIELD WASHER FLUID: Windshields bear the worse of the winter. You could go through more wiper fluid than you do the rest of the year. For Southern California, regular washer fluid works just fine. If you anticipate going into colder temperatures – have some mixed with antifreeze for better results in cutting through the ice and frost…and, yes, snow.
WIPER BLADES: Through long rainy days, wiper blades could dull with frequent use. Make sure you get new blades up front and back (if equipped) before winter starts. That way, you can get at least a season’s worth of clear vision. For upper elevations and drives further north, get an ice scraper in case that ice gets on your windows.
DOOR LOCKS: If your car still has external door locks, you know they will freeze overnight. To keep them operative, warm water will do the trick. However, a glycerine solution will do a better job. Have some in your car in case the locks do freeze up.
TIRES: In California, if you drive in snowy conditions, you can drive with at least All-Season tires with a Mud and Snow (M+S) rating on the sidewall. Otherwise, you must have chains. These laws are enforceable by the California Highway Patrol at checkpoints during these weather conditions in higher elevations. There is another thing to look for. Make sure that your Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) works in case the tire is deflated on those cold nights. That alert will save your life.
PACK AN EMERGENCY KIT: If you are indeed stuck in the cold, be prepared! Have one ready in your trunk, if you do a long run through the ice and snow. Blankets, flares, extra washer fluid, engine oil and coolant, a flashlight, winter boots and a portable radio is suggested for such a kit. Having your mobile device available for emergency calls is also highly recommended.
Though we may never see these conditions all of the time, it is always good to be prepared. A visit to Volkswagen Van Nuys at both our parts and service departments are a good place to start preparing for that ski trip or drive through the Sierra Nevada. Contact us for more information and parts availability and recommendations.