Summer is gone and autumn is in full swing and now it’s time to winterize your bus. That may sound like a very large undertaking, but really it isn’t. By checking a couple of items, problems in cool weather will be averted.
A simple place to begin is to check the condition and strength of the coolant, which will protect the engine and heaters when the weather turns cold. A close inspection should be done to make sure the coolant is clean and clear. If it is not, take the vehicle to have the system flushed by a certified professional. If the coolant proves to be in good condition, then check for proper freeze protection. Most manufactures recommend a 50/50 mix of coolant and distilled water. Also, be sure the heater shut-off valves are open as the auxiliary heaters will be needed on chilly mornings.
Another area to winterize is the batteries. The tendency is to be more aware of a battery failure in cold weather than hot, however, summer heat can be more detrimental to batteries than cold weather. Also, check to be sure that all connections are clean and tight. Batteries should be tested for ample reserve capacity to start the engine as more charge is needed to start a cold engine than one that is hot. This is why during the first cold snap an engine will not start as the battery does not have enough capacity to turn over the engine.
Routine, seasonal maintenance is the key to long vehicle life. A few minutes to check a few key areas will save money, downtime and help keep frustration at bay.