Small and economical, the MINI is one of the most precious subcompact vehicles around, with a perfect blend of its British mini-car pedigree with modern-day German construction and engineering. And that’s why it’s strongly recommended that you maintain the car to the very best of your ability. One of the most essential maintenance tasks is winterizing the vehicle. As the months grow colder—especially in a place like Abbotsford—your MINI would need certain acts of care and attention to keep it performing well for a long time. Here are four tips for taking care of your MINI this winter:
#1: Check the Tires
During the winter, the MINI’s tires need to be in top shape, especially considering that you will be driving on roads covered with snow and ice. There must be a good amount of tread left on the tires. Also check the rim of the tires to note the recommended tire pressure; if they are not in accordance with the recommended PSI (pounds per square inch) level, inflate the tires to achieve it. If the tires are worn out, replace them—and not just with any set. Go with snow tires, which are specifically designed to optimally handle even the harshest of snow and ice.
#2: Check the Car Battery
The MINI’s battery tends to work a lot harder during the wintertime, and it’s easier for it to die during this time of the year. So, check it for overall health, including its charging capability and corrosion. To clean external corrosion, remove the cables to reach the less accessible areas, in addition to the area surrounding the terminals. And if your MINI battery is older than five years, it’s recommended that you replace it.
#3: Check the Engine and Related Components
The MINI’s engine also works much harder during the winter season, which exposes its flaws more than ever. Existing problems, which may include hard starts, pings, and rough idling, are magnified during the colder months. Take it to your local mechanic or MINI dealership for an engine tune-up, ideally before winter arrives. During that time, the mechanic can do an oil change to make sure than the engine uses clean oil; evaluate its antifreeze with a tester kit and a mixture of 50 percent antifreeze and 50 percent distilled water; and check the air, fuel, and transmission filters. Even after those maintenance tasks, it is strongly recommended that you warm up the car before every trip by turning on the ignition and letting it run for a few minutes.
#4: Keep the MINI In a Cool, Dry Place
Speaking of warming up the car, wintertime is that time of the year when keeping your MINI warm is more crucial than ever. Certain key components, like the aforementioned battery and engine, tend to underperform under such conditions. Thus it would be best to park the car inside the garage to shield it from the freezing cold of the outdoors. Additionally, make sure that the garage is as cool and dry as possible.
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