The weather in most parts of the country is bitterly cold right now, and much of the country is blanketed in a thin (or even not-so-thin) layer of ice and snow. Even areas that typically never see snow or ice are shut down due to the severe winter storms that 2014 brought with it. Most drivers are concerned with bundling up in coats and gloves to leave the house, not necessarily keeping their car's engine from freezing. No matter what the weather is like outside or how low the temperature drops, you must ensure that you take the proper precautions to keep your engine and cooling system protected during the cold weather.
Cold Weather Concerns
It's important to ensure that you are using the proper mixture of antifreeze and water during the winter. In the summer months, some people may try to get away with a lean mixture of coolant diluted with mostly water for a short time. We strongly advise against this. An improper mixture can cause catastrophic engine damage in the cold winter months and lower the boiling point in warmer weather. Industry experts recommend a 50/50 blend of distilled water with antifreeze year-round. This will protect your vehicle when the temperatures drop well below the zero-degree mark; your vehicle should be protected to around -32 degrees.
Chances are, many people living in warmer southern states don't pay too much attention to winter preparations. The temperatures rarely get below freezing, so it's really not a big deal. However, this winter we've seen much colder temperatures than we've seen in many years across the entire country. December and January brought lots of ice and snow to the entire country, even Florida, Georgia and Alabama. Weather is unpredictable, so it's important to prepare for every situation, even if you live in states that don't typically get blasted by Arctic temperatures in the winter.
Taking the proper steps during milder weather including using the proper 50/50 mix of antifreeze and distilled water will help ensure that you don't get in a bind during frigid winter temperatures. No one wants to walk or wait for a tow truck in extreme cold weather when just being outside for a short time with unprotected skin is bad enough. Keeping your water pump, and other cooling system parts in good health will help you avoid a bad situation this winter. If you are in need of a new water pump or related components for your vehicle, check out US Motor Works' full line of water pumps and related parts. You can then drive knowing that you've taken all the necessary steps to protect your cooling system from bitter winter cold.