January can bring extremely cold temperatures across the U.S. While the chilly weather can be uncomfortable for people to endure, it can also be very hard on fleet vehicles. To make sure your vehicles can keep running in extreme temperatures, follow these maintenance tips.
Check the Battery: Cold temperatures can take a toll on a vehicle’s battery. To make sure it doesn’t fail on a route, check the battery before cold temps hit, and replace it as needed.
Inspect the Belts: Belts, like the serpentine belt, can snap in very cold temperatures. To prevent this, belts should be inspected for wear and tear and other signs of damage that can signal the belt won’t be able to withstand extreme temperatures.
Check Fluid Levels: To beat the cold, vehicles need the appropriate amount of coolant, windshield wiper fluid and oil. Change the oil according to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations and ensure there is enough coolant and windshield wiper fluid to keep the vehicle running safely.
Check the Tire Pressure: According to the Chicago Tribune, a temperature change of 10 degrees can cause a 10-percent reduction of air in tires. Tires need to maintain the manufacturer recommended pressure level to properly handle the winter roads.
Prevent Fuel Lines from Freezing: To keep the fuel lines from freezing, the Chicago Tribune states some operations recommend adding fuel-line antifreeze to the gas tank to eliminate water from the fuel lines and prevent freezing. Keeping the gas tank at least half full will also help reduce the chance of the lines freezing.
Pack an Emergency Kit: When the temperature dips below freezing it’s important to make sure drivers are prepared in case a vehicle breaks down. Vehicles should include cables, a first aid kit, blanket and flares.
To learn how RTA Fleet Management Software can help your fleet operation remain efficient in the winter months, contact us today to schedule a demo.