Challenge Day 28 Lesson

Jeep Winter Quick Tips

Tips to keep your Jeep at its best and you both safe & prepared for the Winter Conditions!

Be prepared so you are confident and safe this winter!

These are 5 super quick tips!
Keeping the lessons about 15 minutes so you have the time carved out is important to me.
We have been so focused on YOU this challenge I wanted to throw in a Jeep Lesson for today! (WOO HOO!)

Tip Number One

Winter is not the time to ignore your tires…or put off getting new tires if you need them.

Your tires tread is going to be important for safety and drivability in winter weather.

I get it, trust me!

No one likes to buy new tires unless it is really time. Take a couple minutes and check the tread depth on all four of your tires…and your spare. Winter is not the time to be driving around on bald tires.

Why is tread depth important in winter weather driving conditions?
Bald tires, tires with no tread depth or very minimal tread depth left are going to be at a higher risk of slipping and spinning in winter weather. This also means in winter road conditions it can be harder to get or keep traction as you are driving on moving on the winter road surface.

Keep in mind winter tires and studded snow tires offer the highest level of traction and performance in winter road conditions.

However, they are not necessary in areas that do not get much snow or ice.

Continuing with tires…

Your Air Pressure in your tires on your Jeep is something to check in cold temperatures.

Temperatures directly relate the change in your .psi and air pressure in your tires. The colder the temperatures the chance of lower air pressure in your tire. If you have just started your winter temperatures or have a prolonged cold spell moving in you want you to check the air pressure in your tires. You need to adjust for the colder air once it has moved in. A couple .psi fluctuation is normal throughout a day with changes in outside temperature.

However, after a couple cold days and nights you need to check your air pressure and adjust accordingly.

One last tire tip to remember in winter weather…

You may notice a rougher or harder ride at first in the colder weather.
Based on what tire you have on your Jeep you may notice as you start drive your drive in the morning the first 5 miles seem rougher. I feel like my tire feels “harder” as it starts out cold so it is a bouncier ride
for the first couple miles.

Once the tires warm up it feels like the ride gets softer and returns to your Jeeps “normal ride” feeling. This can happen based on the brand and/or type of tire (ie. Mud tire, all terrain, etc.) that you have on your Jeep. A cold tire can be a harder tire with less give and flex in the
rubber. As the tire warms up from driving and the rubber heats up it gets softer and more pliable.

Thus, changing the ride feeling based on cold or warm tires.

Quick Note: If you have a rough ride or vibration through the steering wheel that does not get better after about 5 miles, or does not go away at all on a drive, that is a sign of something different going on and you need to address that issue. If you need to that would be a trip to the Jeep mechanic to rectify this problem.

Tip Number Two

There is nothing worse than a Jeep that will not start in the cold!

How do you know if your battery is at risk as winter weather begins to roll in?

The best way to know for sure is to have your battery tested.

You do this, or have a shop do this, with a voltage tester. If you do use a voltage tester, have your vehicle and all electronics or “draw” to the battery OFF. Touch the positive end to the positive end and then the negative end to the negative end.

A standard battery charge rate (not an upgraded or after market battery) should read 12.6 volts.

Anything less then 11.7 volts when you are testing it means you have a potential for a problem or that it is time to replace your battery.

You can test the battery as you crank/start your Jeep. The voltage should maintain a reading of 10.5 volts as you start your Jeep.

Going to an upgraded battery with a higher cold cranking amp is always a great idea. The Optima red top battery is one recommendation for cold cranking batteries.

Tip Number Three

This winter weather tip for your Jeep is not going to apply to everyone across the country.

Different parts of the country get different amounts of snow, ice and low temperatures. However, your fluids in your Jeep are an important part to remember at all times of the year. If you are going to be in sustained
and/or extreme cold temperatures, you want to think about services your fluids for your Jeep.

• Oil Change

You want to make sure you are up to date on your oil change.
You can use a winter specific oil as well. It allows for better engine
operation in the cold winter temperatures.

• Flush your Cooling system

and make sure you use the CORRECT Coolant and/or mixture of specific coolant for your Jeep. This is not an off the shelf coolant and pour it in for the newer Jeeps!!!! That is very important to know!!!
Having the correct levels of coolant as well as new fluid in your Jeep helps to prevent freezing of these fluids which can lead to break downs and yes…even over heating in the winter! Coolant is not just a summer issue.

• Your Gas Tank

Yup…..believe it or not you need to keep an eye on that gas tank level for the winter. Make sure to keep your gas tank FULL over night in the lowest temperatures for the winter. Gas can freeze, and a low tank can also lead to condensation forming on the wall of the gas tank inside and dripping into your gas.

You can also use an additive for extreme winter cold temperatures such as Heet that will help to prevent any water or condensation in your gas from freezing during extreme low temperatures.

Tip Number Four

Being able to see is important all the time. During the winter weather your wiper blades will have additional work and importance with snow, ice and water build up on your windshield.

Not to mention the storm that could roll in while you are driving around. For that reason, winter is the perfect time to replace your Windshield Wiper Blades in your Jeep. Just as you have your spring checklist, winter you need to have your pre-winter checklist.

This is the time to replace parts and pieces that will be crucial in this winter weather.

Tip Number Five

Of course, you always need your lights working properly and to be able to see.

In winter weather you can have fog, blizzards, snow or decreased visibility situations that will make your lights crucial. This not just for your safety but for the safety of those on the road with you as well.

Taillights need to be bright and break lights need to be working correctly. This allows the drivers behind you to see you clearly. They make aftermarket LED Taillight upgrades that are brighter than the factory lights. If you were considering any light upgrades, the winter is a perfect time to change out those factory lights.

Break lights and hazards are not the only important light aspect for winter weather. You need to make sure you have clean and clear headlights. You need to have the best visibility as possible. An LED upgrade can help with that, as can fog lights. Remember Light Bars are not permitted on the highway or roads in most states. Do not rely on a light bar for that reason for your visibility or added sight.

Tip Number Six – Protecting Your Jeep Body and Top

If you live in an area that receives snow or ice you know that the trucks run out to salt the roads. That salt that they put down as a preventative for safety actually is more damaging to your Jeep then the ice or snow is. That salt causes premature rust and problems for the undercarriage of your Jeep as well as any steel body parts or components.

Unfortunately, there is not a preventative as the salt is going to be used to keep everyone safe.

What can you do?
Wash your Jeep more often. I know the cold weather can make that almost impossible with freezing temperatures. Do a good wash prior to the winter weather and apply a wax. Make sure your frame and any steel parts are powder coated or painted to help seal the surface. Any chance you get…..wash your Jeep with a good cleaning agent such as the Chemical Guys Off-Roader Soap.

For both the Body of your Jeep and your Top. Ideally if your Jeep could live inside the garage or a carport that is the best situation. That will keep snow and ice from accumulating on your Jeep and top. If your
Jeep is parked outside for the winter it will mean a little extra effort. You need to try and keep your Jeep and top cleared of accumulating snow and ice. This especially important for overnight when the temperatures will drop and cause freezing. Once there is frozen ice on the top, windows and doors of your Jeep you risk damaging the paint and surfaces that the ice is frozen on. Remember first off that vehicles manage through all sorts of weather….plus this is a tough Jeep right?!

But as a preventative you can buy a RainGear cover for your Jeep. This will allow the top, windows and body to be covered and protected if your Jeep is living outside. You can then scrape and pull the cover off without worrying about damaging your Jeep as you scrape the snow or ice off the exterior.

During the Winter you do not want to open, remove or put on your top in freezing temperatures. Try to put on your “winter top” prior to freezing temperatures or winter weather and leave it closed and on in
freezing and below freezing temperatures as well as any winter precipitation. Prior to winter do a cleaning and protection of your soft top if you have a soft top. They make soft top specific cleaners and
conditioners you can get for your Jeep Soft Top. Make sure to keep your top as clean as you do your body and under carriage during the winter months especially if you have salt on the roads. Then at the end of winter make sure to do a good thorough clean again of your top.

Tip Number Seven – Emergency Winter Road Kit

We talk about our Emergency Recovery Kit all the time for going on Jeep adventures.

Your winter emergency kit is going to have some additional items that are winter specific. You do not want to be stranded out in the winter weather and temperatures without your emergency road kit. You never know when something could happen! Plan ahead so you have it and hopefully do not need it.

Just because you have a new Jeep does not mean something could not happen that would cause you to be stuck on the side of a road or on a wintery back road with a dead Jeep. (That means no power and NO HEAT) This is when preparedness makes a crucial difference!

Below is a list of must have items in your Winter Road Kit, but you can add more items as well. I suggest getting a nice quality duffle or large bag with a zipper for some items to keep it in the back all together. For the Jeep specific Items, I recommend storing it in your bottom hatch in the back or in a separate bag. That way fluids and such do not accidentally end up on other items.

Emergency Winter Road Kit to Have In Your Jeep For Your Jeep:

• Antifreeze (correct type for your Jeep!!!)
• Oil
• Washer Fluid
• Mix of Rubbing Alcohol and Water to help melt ice
• Ice Scraper
• Jumper Cables
• Shovel
• Kitty Litter or Sand (for extreme winter locations) Helps for traction should you get stuck
• Chains for your tires (extreme winter locations)
• Jack
• Spare Tire
• Tools to change a tire and basic tools to work on your Jeep
• Spare Rag
• Regular Recovery Gear you keep in your Jeep

For You:

• Emergency Radio
• Flashlight
• Batteries
• First Aid Kit
• Bottled Water
• Non-Perishable Food and/or Snacks
• Heavy Blanket
• Extra Jacket
• Extra Socks
• Gloves
• Towel
• Road Flares

This list is helping you plan for a worst-case scenario situation. If you live in a very hard hit wintery area you need to make sure you plan ahead and keep these emergency items in your Winter Emergency Kit.

Never venture out onto snow or icy roads without your Jeep packed and prepared.

Tip Number Eight – Winter Extra Add On

Did you know that you can add on a Block Heater plug to your Jeep?

Just like the Diesel Trucks, you can plug your Jeep into a regular power outlet once you add the Block Heater plug.

Why would you want to do this?

The low amount of heat that the plug creates allows your block to stay warm so that you do not have a cold start. It will also help keep your fluids from freezing as another added bonus. You can get this addition from your local dealership.

No matter where in the country you live, everyone can get lower winter
temperatures. Winter it is a time to spend a little extra time preparing and taking care of your Jeep.

Preventive Maintenance is the KEY to a happy and healthy Jeep all year long!

When you are prepared it makes you more confident! That is true in all aspects and especially in Jeep Life!

Lesson Tasks

Watch the Super Quick – Winter Quick Tips Videos- #1 – #5

Download the Winter Tip Guide Booklet below

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