Are your department vehicles ready for freezing temperatures, icy roads and heavy snow? Properly maintaining your university vehicles is important year round, but it’s especially crucial before the winter begins. Here are our top five tips to keep your university vehicles in tip-top shape during the coldest season.
Fill up with gasoline
A full tank may prevent accumulated water from freezing inside the fuel pump and can help you stay warm by allowing the engine to stay running. Heavy snowstorms can cause congestion on campus, resulting in motorists being stuck in gridlock for an unknown period of time. Make sure the fuel tank is at least half full at all times because you’ll never know how long you’ll need to keep your engine running in the middle of a snowstorm.
The fuel station on campus, located east of the Fleet Services building on South Campus Drive, offers unleaded and diesel fuel at an average of $0.05 cheaper than outside vendors. Authorized users must use the newest GasCard, issued earlier this year, when fueling any state-owned vehicle.
Top off with coolant
Coolant, also known as antifreeze, keeps the engine from freezing in cold temperatures. Needless to say, you must have sufficient coolant to keep your vehicle running during the cold months. Ensure your university vehicle isn’t low on coolant and that there aren’t any leaks in your vehicle’s engine that could cause coolant to drain out.
Knowing which type of coolant to use for your university vehicle can be confusing. However, our experts at Fleet Services know exactly what will work best for your department vehicle.
Check your tire pressure
Did you know tire pressure drops along with the air temperature? You can lose up to one pound per square inch with every 10-degree drop in air temperature. Driving around with low tire pressure can result in excessive tire wear or tread separation, which could reduce the life of your tires or even cause an accident.
It’s incredibly important to keep track of your tire pressure as temperatures get colder. If you need to fill up, visit the tire pump station located on the outside Fleet Services building on South Campus Drive.
Get your battery tested
Cold temperatures reduce a battery’s cranking power making it more difficult to operate during the winter months. A weak battery will likely die as temperatures drop. It’s important to get your university vehicle’s battery tested to ensure that it’s working properly.
Our certified mechanics at Fleet Services can perform a volt test that will indicate if the battery is fully charged or if it needs to be replaced.
Replace your windshield wipers
When was the last time you replaced the windshield wipers? Experts suggest replacing wiper blades every six months, especially before winter. Messy road debris from snowstorms cause streaks and reduces visibility, which is extremely dangerous for yourself and others on the road.
Stop by Fleet Services if your university vehicle is overdue for a new set of windshield wipers. Our experts will gladly replace your old blades for a new pair.
Get a snowbrush
Clearing the snow off your car is a pain – especially when you’re in a hurry. However, removing snow and ice from your department vehicle is necessary to ensure optimal visibility on the road. Make sure you always have a trusty snowbrush equipped with an ice scraper available in your vehicle at all times.
If you do not have a snowbrush, Fleet Services can provide one for your department vehicle.
Don’t delay — you can easily prevent mechanical issues by properly maintaining your department vehicle before and during winter. Fleet Services is here to help whether your university vehicle is low on coolant or needs a new battery. Visit our website for more information about university vehicles, maintenance and other services offered.