EVEN IF YOUR car’s battery is mainte-nance-free, Old Man Winter and the heat
of summer can really put a strain on its
power. According to Costco supplier
Johnson Controls, here’s how hot and
cold weather works against your battery.
The extreme heat of summer weakens
your battery, especially when the temperature reaches 35 C (95 F) or more outside,
yet it can struggle on for months, turning
over the engine while it’s easy to start and
generate a charge. The heat causes water
to evaporate out of your battery’s fluid,
breaking down the battery grids.
The real test comes when temperatures drop. Your vehicle’s battery loses 33
per cent of its power when the temperature dips below freezing, and more than
50 per cent of its power when the temperature falls below minus 17 C (0 F).
Your weakened battery has to overcome
these challenges and a harder-to-crank
engine because the cold thickens the
engine’s oil. The result: You’re going to
have to call for a jump-start and buy a
replacement battery unless you take preventive measures.
Costco automotive battery supplier
Johnson Controls suggests taking a few
minutes to read about the battery in your
car’s manual and become familiar with
what kind of battery you have, where it is,
how to safely clean it and what the indicator lights inside your car might be trying to
tell you about it. When you work with your
battery, always wear protective eyewear.
WHEN IT’S TIME to change your car’s oil
you may, like many motorists, have a perplexing question: Should you use conventional or much more expensive synthetic
motor oil? Professional mechanics will give
you different answers, sometimes with a dizzying array of caveats.
The one thing they’ll agree on, however,
is to start with your car’s owner
manual. Make sure whatever
oil you choose matches the
and certification requirements,
and that you change your oil
according to the carmaker’s
While both kinds of oil are
good for your car, modern synthetic engine oil offers more
protection than conventional
oil, according to the consumer
automotive research site
edmunds.com. Costco motor
oil supplier Castrol says both types of motor
oil begin in the ground as crude oil. However,
synthetic motor oil goes through a complex
synthesis process that improves it in the following ways:
As a lubricant. It reduces the friction and
wear that occur when engine parts move
against each other.
As a coolant. It absorbs and transfers
heat produced in the engine.
As a sealant. In working with the engine
gaskets and seals, it fills the space between all
As a detergent. It prevents waste matter
(dirt and deposits) from sticking to the
As a rust inhibitor. It neutralizes acids
produced, preventing rusting and corrosion.
Many consumers and experts feel that these characteristics justify synthetic oil’s high
price tag. If you’ve been considering switching oil, you should
be aware that a number of
myths surround synthetic oil.
Some people believe, for
instance, that you should break
in your engine with conventional oil before switching to
synthetic. Others say you should
flush your engine before changing to synthetic motor oil or that
synthetic oil will leak out of the
seals of older cars. The pros at Castrol have
debunked these myths, and experts at
edmunds.com say that synthetic oil can be
safely mixed or interchanged with conventional oil.
Whether you choose conventional or
synthetic motor oil, buy a quality brand and
make sure you change it according to the
is designed to
both very cold
KENTAROO TRYMAN / MEDIABAKERY
motor oil? Assault on