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How To: Prepare a Vehicle for Winter (Winterize Car, Truck, or SUV)


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    • By NAPA
      Some people have been asking, do electric cars work in cold weather? Absolutely they do! But winter driving doesn’t always mean a winter wonderland, sometimes it just means preparing for the cold. People have been link hidden, please login to viewelectric cars in cold weather for years with little or no trouble other than potentially shorter battery range. Here’s a few tips about driving an electric car in winter.
      Preheat Before You Leave
      One advantage to plug-in electric cars in the winter is they can use grid power before you drive. It makes far more sense to prepare for your drive while connected to grid power than use up battery range. If your electric car has the option to preheat the cabin while link hidden, please login to view take advantage of that feature. Vehicles like the link hidden, please login to view and Nissan LEAF can be toasty warm for your departure. Use seat heaters if so equipped as they are more efficient at warming the occupants directly. Once you are on the way it will take far less power to maintain a comfortable cabin than if you had started cold leaving you parking spot.
      Use The Right Tires
      If you live in an area where winter tires are recommended, by all means use them. Snow tires are able to stay pliable in low temperatures and typically feature a special tread design that helps grip the wintery roads.
      While it is common for electric vehicles to use special low rolling resistance tires, during the winter months you want all the grip you can get. Luckily with the growing popularity of electric vehicles there are now specific link hidden, please login to view made for EVs. These EV winter tires are designed specifically to address the needs of an electric car by balancing low rolling resistance while still offering winter weather traction. Just make sure to change into winter tires before the weather shifts.
      Drive Easy
      If your warm driving style is already easy going to maximize battery range, driving an electric car in cold weather will be an easy transition. The roads will likely be slippery so easing into acceleration and braking will help keep things under control.
      Keep in mind that most electric vehicles are fairly heavy, so there is a lot of momentum built up even under normal driving. Loads of low-end torque make for spirited driving in warmer months, but you will need to dial back the accelerator pedal in slippery conditions. If your vehicle has “ECO” mode, use it. You may have a winter/snow driving mode as well so check your owner’s manual.
      Turn Off Regenerative Braking
      As amazing as regenerative braking is at recouping energy and extending driving range, it can also cause problems on slippery roads. Normally when the driver lifts their foot off the accelerator pedal the regenerative braking system kicks in to help slow the vehicle. This is great in dry weather, but the braking action that recovers electricity can cause the wheel to lose grip on slick roads making for erratic handling. People driving electric cars in winter conditions need to pay attention to the road surface. If the road conditions are slippery, it is best to turn off your regenerative braking system and go back to using your trusty brake pedal.
      Your Range May Vary
      Depending on your vehicle, electric car battery life in cold weather will vary. If you have an older electric vehicle with less than 100 miles of range you will need to be as sparing with power as you can. Things like headlights, link hidden, please login to view, radio, seat heaters, battery heaters,  fans, even power steering all take previous battery power. On the flip side, if your vehicle’s range is in the hundreds of miles and your trips around town are short, there’s no reason to skimp on the power. Of course this assumes you will recharge once you are done driving for the day.
      Plan For An Emergency
      This tip applies to everyone on the road, but in an electric vehicle your
      link hidden, please login to viewshould include a portable 110v charger if you have one. Sure it is the slowest way to recharge, but it beats no charge at all if you are stuck at a friend’s house.  Check out all the
      link hidden, please login to view available on link hidden, please login to view, or trust one of our 17,000 link hidden, please login to view for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on taking care of an electric car battery in cold weather and learning more about electric cars in winter driving, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your link hidden, please login to view. The post
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    • By NAPA
      Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas For That Car Guy In Your Life link hidden, please login to view
      If you’re searching for what to get him for Valentine’s Day, NAPA has you covered. Car lovers take pride in their vehicles, so now is the perfect time to show the special person in your life that same care. From personalized interior accessories to 
      link hidden, please login to view, NAPAOnline has all the upgrades, performance parts and quality tools for your DIY Valentine.  That special mechanic or technician in your life needs a way to keep their hands clean and ready for date night with safe cleaning solutions like the 
      link hidden, please login to view. Pair this with  link hidden, please login to view for small jobs and the  link hidden, please login to view to keep their hands from cracking. 
      link hidden, please login to view will protect his hands while doing hard jobs, and the  link hidden, please login to view protect him from potentially hazardous and harmful chemicals on-the-go. Add a  link hidden, please login to view to his garage work area, so that he stays toasty and comfortable, especially in the cold winter and early spring mornings. 
      link hidden, please login to view Remember to shop NAPA’s giant selection of popular, long-lasting 
      link hidden, please login to view. The options are endless, with carpet floor mats and all-weather protection.  link hidden, please login to view will create the ultimate shield for his vehicle’s interior, with a sturdy, customized fit that incorporates deep channels to trap liquids. WeatherTech is proudly made in the U.S. and backed by a Limited Lifetime Warranty.   Explore how a good 
      link hidden, please login to view and  link hidden, please login to view can work together to keep the interior of his prized pickup or sporty roadster looking and smelling fresh. Industrial strength  link hidden, please login to view is the perfect prime and shine solution for creating a blemish-free finish on his work truck or off-road Jeep.
      link hidden, please login to view are a straightforward way to his heart, and these aftermarket upgrades are a great way to be noticed on the road. NAPA offers several high-end headlight and tail light customization products, including replacement parts for when your OM parts fail, like replacing a  link hidden, please login to view.  If you’ve noticed that his headlights are a little dim, grab a 
      link hidden, please login to view for a DIY fix designed to quickly and safely restore, maintain and protect all types of headlights, polishing them back to their original shine. The system cleans away yellow stains and clears buffs, scratches and smudges. Adding new light bulbs can be all he needs to cut through the fog, especially with the  link hidden, please login to view. A 
      link hidden, please login to view can light the vehicle’s interior and exterior; this stylish gift can even be used inside your home. The  link hidden, please login to view is a fun and useful lighting machine that simply stows away when not in use. It offers advanced optics and rotational points for lighting any vehicle’s undercarriage in a home garage. link hidden, please login to view A 
      link hidden, please login to view will keep him safe on the road. If he has to exit his vehicle, be sure he has a  link hidden, please login to view to fare the wind and cold. The  link hidden, please login to view or  link hidden, please login to view will add even more equipment to his growing emergency supplies. The 
      link hidden, please login to view takes care of his organization, fitting 230 pieces into a durable toolbox, while the  link hidden, please login to view is a fun way to keep him excited about chores. And the  link hidden, please login to view hand tool offers a higher blade speed than corded jigsaws for a clean, more controlled cut.  Share your love by ordering from NAPAOnline.com today for that special man in your life. Take advantage of 
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    • By NAPA
      Troubleshooting With NAPA: Why Is My Car Heater Blowing Cold Air?
      It’s easy to take modern conveniences for granted. An electric coffee pot brewing while you step out of the room. A garage door that opens with the click of a button. Heated air pumping out of the vents into your vehicle on a cold winter’s morning. But what would you do if those conveniences just stop working? Specifically, how do you fix a car heater that is blowing cold air?
      Before you panic, let’s double check the obvious. Is your vehicle warmed up enough from a cold start to push out heated air? For your car heater to function properly, the temperature gauge on your dash (which measures the heat around your engine) should read in the middle, not in the blue cold zone or the red hot zone. If you’re too impatient to wait for your vehicle to run long enough to push out hot air before hitting the road, our experts suggest
      link hidden, please login to view to give yourself some extra time. Next, let’s check the settings of your internal cabin temperature controls. Has your automatic climate control system set itself to defrost only for the first few minutes? Are the vents on your dashboard open and angled properly to disperse a strong current of air? If those quick checks were the problem, we promise, we won’t tell anyone. However, if you still haven’t found the answer to ‘why is my heater blowing cold air into my car,’ the next step is to lift the hood to remove any possible obstructions, like leaves and debris, that might be blocking the cold air intake system. Airflow backup could also be caused by a dirty, clogged cabin air filter. A
      link hidden, please login to view keeps the air inside your vehicle clean, while also trapping dust and dirt before it enters your heater core and evaporator. Locate your air filter, and remove it for inspection. If the pleats are clogged with debris, it’s due for a change. As part of a maintenance routine, replace your cabin air filter every 20,000 miles or 12 months, whichever comes first. Another easy solution to solving a car heater problem is topping off the coolant level. If the coolant level is low, not only will heat not reach your heater core, but the built-up heat not being transmitted properly by coolant could damage your engine. If your coolant level is low, top it off. Be aware, it is critical that you also check for signs of damaged hoses or loose connections that could be leaking.
      Another common problem that causes a car heater to pump out cold air is if the control valves in the thermostat are stuck open or closed. A thermostat is a temperature regulator in the form of a valve, situated between the engine coolant outlet and the radiator inlet. If possible, fix the stuck valves, or follow these tips for a full
      link hidden, please login to view.  The Fix Is In, And It Won’t Be Pretty
      Any quick fix for no heat in a car was mentioned above. If you are still experiencing car link hidden, please login to viewheating problems, it is likely a more costly and time-consuming solution. Let’s start with the fan, often called the blower. You should hear the fan running if your heater is turned on, especially full blast. It is possible debris has been lodged or wrapped around the fan, which would cause a tapping noise or popping sound. 
      If the airflow is weak coming out of your HVAC system, then it is likely a blown
      link hidden, please login to view. When you turn on your interior heat, a fan behind the core starts up and blows heat into the passenger compartment. If there is no air current, the solution could be as simple as replacing a fuse or as complicated as replacing the fan itself. If your heater is blowing cold air, the fan motor might be working, but the water pump, actuator or heater core could be failing. A car heater not working could be due to the vital role the
      link hidden, please login to view performs. The water pump is typically driven by the accessory drive belt, serpentine belt or timing belt. A worn-out belt can prevent your water pump from operating at peak efficiency. A slow leak from your water pump will cause residue to build up around the pump. Look for coolant trails leading down from the pump or a gunky deposit around the outside. Still car heater troubleshooting?
      link hidden, please login to view are critical to controlling heat, the A/C and even defrost. Knocking, clicking and fluctuating air flow could point to a bad actuator, or two. Cold air output could be an issue if either of the hoses connected to your link hidden, please login to view have become loose. One hose is tasked with transporting hot coolant from the water pump to the heater core. The second hose returns the coolant to the top of the engine. Worst case scenario, if the area inside your vehicle, underneath the dash, is damp from a continuous leak, it is highly likely your heater core needs replaced. Most drivers are not equipped to fix a car heater blowing cold air. Just to diagnose the problem can require a jack, jack stand and many, many hand tools. The solution, even if simple, could involve specialty hoses, connections and clamps. To replace an entire heater core entails removing several components to get behind the firewall, or even removing the entire dash inside your cabin. Newer model vehicles, packed with sensitive electronics, make things even more challenging. When in doubt, take your vehicle to
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    • By NAPA
      You’ve Got the Power to Clear the Powder link hidden, please login to view

      link hidden, please login to view is a great way to get inches or even feet of snow cleared out of your way when you need without waiting around for a municipal or private service to arrive. People who live in snowier parts of the country know that the saying is correct: “If you want something done, do it yourself!” It’s especially beneficial for those who live in rural areas or may need a clear route in an emergency. Many truck owners with added-on aftermarket snow plows also choose to offer their services to neighbors or set up small businesses during wintertime. Let’s face it, many truck, SUV and Jeep owners forego installing and operating
      link hidden, please login to view because of the risk to their vehicles. But most of those snow-laden horror stories usually originate from poor maintenance and improper installation. Fortunately, the experts at NAPA Auto Parts have all the right link hidden, please login to view, link hidden, please login to view and link hidden, please login to view to ensure your rig can handle the next big blizzard or nor’easter. How to Use a Snow Plow on a Truck
      Before getting your rig out in the downy flakes, it’s important to consider a few things:
      How much snow will you plow and where? Will you install the plow mechanism only once or twice every winter? Will you focus on a driveway or will you clear larger areas? What kind of terrain will you clear? Roads? Fields? Answering these questions can help you determine link hidden, please login to view: a  for light-duty snow clearing, a v-plow for breaching large drifts and depositing snow on either side or a box plow for moving large amounts of snow. Once you find the right plow, you need to install it correctly. Carefully study your vehicle owner’s manual, as well as the manual for the plow, so you know the right tools to use and what precautions to take. Get familiar! Study the terrain prior to a snow event and never plow unfamiliar terrain. Hidden boulders, ditches, stumps and retaining ponds can spell disaster for a truck, so make sure you know where you’re going and what’s below the snow. To minimize the chances of engine trouble while you’re plowing, set aside some time to do a full tune-up on your rig before you start. Check your tire pressure and fluid levels, change the oil and the oil filter. Replace any headlights or taillights that are dim or out completely. Replace wiper blades if they are worn and consider upgrading to a model that’s suited for winter use like the
      link hidden, please login to view or link hidden, please login to view. Transmission issues are common problems that can arise from plowing with a truck, but you can avoid undue stress to your gearbox by doing your research and adhering to a mindful maintenance schedule during the winter months. Check your transmission fluid frequently. Smell it for a burning odor that could indicate overheating. Consider installing a
      link hidden, please login to view and pause plowing if the temperature goes above 250 degrees Fahrenheit.  Putting Safety First Comes with Rewards
      Winter driving can get risky, especially when you’re plowing with your truck, SUV or Jeep, so make sure you are prepared for any possible emergency situations. Along with keeping your truck stocked with a good
      link hidden, please login to view, keep a link hidden, please login to view, link hidden, please login to view, link hidden, please login to view, energy bars and bottled water in case you become stranded overnight.  Retrieval equipment like
      link hidden, please login to view, link hidden, please login to view and  can come in handy in case you come across a stranded driver. Visibility on the road is always important, but the bleak, dim days of winter make visibility crucial. Equip your rig with a fully-functional link hidden, please login to view before you begin so that everyone else on the road can see you and you can see them.  From windblown drifts to a few inches in the driveway, let NAPA Auto Parts help you prepare for the powder this winter! We also offer a great selection of smaller plowing options if you want to plow with something other than your pickup. Turn your UTV,
      link hidden, please login to view or even your  into a small plow so you can leave your ride in the garage.  Start reeling in the points when you join the
      link hidden, please login to view program this winter—sign up now and get $5 automatically! Featured image courtesy of
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    • By NAPA
      Why Do Car Batteries Die in the Cold?
      It happens every year: the days get shorter, the nights get longer and we bundle up and prepare for the long, cold months ahead. When it comes to automotive issues, winter is sometimes an especially challenging time. When the mercury drops, it can
      link hidden, please login to view on the complex systems and parts under the hood of your vehicle. If you drive a car, truck or SUV with a traditional internal combustion engine, the battery in your ride is particularly vulnerable in lower temperatures.  Most vehicle batteries are 12-volts, and they consist of six cells. Each cell houses two plates—one made of lead, the other of lead dioxide. The plates are submerged in sulfuric acid, which acts as a catalyst, causing a chemical reaction between the plates producing about two volts of energy per cell. With six cells, you get twelve volts of power. 
      Your battery may start acting up when the temperature drops, so check out these
      link hidden, please login to view. The chemicals inside the battery move slower at lower temperatures, putting stress on the battery and making it difficult to provide sufficient starting power to your vehicle. If you park your vehicle outdoors, you may notice a significant decrease in battery power if the temperature dips below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, especially if your battery is older than three years and you don’t plan on starting your vehicle for several days or weeks at a time.  Let’s face it: vehicle batteries are expensive, and the added stress of cold temperatures can shorten their lifespan. To prolong battery life and save cash, it’s a good idea to invest in a
      link hidden, please login to view or disconnect and safely store your vehicle battery indoors. Car battery winter storage is also a great way to maintain the units of your favorite outdoor toys, such as boats, ATVs or link hidden, please login to view. Let the experts at the NAPA Network help you save money and get the most out of your vehicle battery by safely disconnecting and storing it this winter.  Disconnecting a Car Battery for Storage
      So, you decided to disconnect your car battery for storage this winter. Great idea! Troubleshooting battery problems in cold weather is a headache, but it can also lessen the overall life of your battery, costing you a lot of money in the long run. If you park your vehicle outdoors or in a garage with minimal insulation, it’s a good idea to remove and store the vehicle battery if you don’t plan on driving it more than once every two weeks during the winter. 
      First, you need to safely disconnect your vehicle’s battery. Before you begin, make sure you’re using
      link hidden, please login to view and insulated link hidden, please login to view. You’ll also need a link hidden, please login to view that fits the bolts of your battery—your owner’s manual should have this information available. Turn off your vehicle. Never attempt to disconnect your battery with the engine running.  With the engine off, locate the terminals of your vehicle battery. They may have black and red caps on them, black for negative and red for positive. The negative terminal is labeled with a negative symbol and the positive terminal is labeled with a positive symbol. Remove the plastic caps and locate the negative terminal. Using the wrench, loosen the nut and bolt, then remove the connector cable from the terminal. Repeat this process with the positive terminal.  Now you’re ready to safely remove and store your battery! 
      Car Battery Storage for Winter link hidden, please login to view
      The battery is a vital component of your vehicle, but it is also sometimes a volatile one. The chemicals that provide the crucial reaction that powers your vehicle and its systems are extremely caustic and dangerous. Neglecting proper car battery storage for winter can cause significant damage to your battery and anything nearby, so let NAPA Auto Parts help you plan for properly storing your battery. 
      Before you store it, take the time to carefully clean any
      link hidden, please login to view and out of the battery tray. Ideally, you should store your battery indoors in a dry, temperature-controlled area like a closet or utility pantry. Always store your battery in a link hidden, please login to view and keep it on a low shelf above the cold cement floors or carpets to avoid static discharges. If you’re storing your battery in an area with minimal temperature control like a garage or shed, equip the space with link hidden, please login to view to ensure the battery storage box stays level and away from any moisture that might collect on the ground. Never store a vehicle battery on a high shelf above your head. Make sure to routinely check the batteries while in storage to ensure no fluids are leaking and top off any fluids that have evaporated. While some drivers want to disconnect and store their vehicle batteries, others may not have the time or a good space to store them. Fortunately, NAPA Auto Parts offers a great selection of battery maintainers, battery conditioners and trickle chargers. These low-profile devices not only charge and maintain your vehicle battery while not in use, but they also help break down any buildup of sulfur crystals on the plates. 
      Don’t let Old Man Winter’s plummeting temperatures send your battery to an early grave! Shop NAPA Auto Parts for car battery winter storage solutions. Now you can choose to stay out of the cold and take advantage of our
      link hidden, please login to view. After you checkout online, select “Deliver From Store” and add your delivery address (must reside within 5 miles of the servicing NAPA Store). The store will notify you when your order is out for delivery, it’s that simple!  Photo courtesy of
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