Preparing your Subaru for the Extremes of Minnesota Weather

January 12th, 2023 by

You expect your Subaru to keep you warm, dry and sure-footed on the road in the Rochester area’s significantly harsh winters.  Similarly, you expect to stay cool, comfortable and trouble-free on a road-trip through Texas, Arizona or New Mexico in August.  Our Subaru of Rochester vehicles are all quite well suited for these roles but there are maintenance tasks you can have done to make sure it is the best it can be as the weather turns from one extreme to another.


Subaru Crosstrek Driving Through a Desert

Warm Climate Preparation

Summer weather can generally be easy on your Subaru, but long summer road trips, particularly in triple-digit temperatures, can benefit from some preparation.  Here are some items to check before the days get long and balmy:

    • Inspect the tires – Tire temperature can run notably hotter on cross-country trips during triple digit temperatures which can exploit any exiting tire damage or excessive wear. Be sure to check your tires’ pressure, tread depth and condition.
    • Check all fluid levels – Fluids are often key to cooling various systems in your car so make sure they are fresh and at the right levels.
    • If you plan on exploring the outer reaches of your car’s handling, consider summer tires over all-season tires for improved traction and heat resistance.
    • Check the wipers – Wiper blades are more vulnerable to drying in the heat, which could result in steaking during rain or when using washer fluid.
    • Test the battery ­ – Extreme heat speeds up the chemical reaction inside a battery which causes an increase in self-discharging and plate corrosion.
    • Check the brake pads and components – Because they operate on friction, brakes generate heat in normal use and thus work even harder in hot conditions.
    • Review the A/C system – Have this system checked before it gets its biggest workout and the consequences of failure are the most uncomfortable.
    • Inspect the engine air and cabin air filters – Dust accumulation can be higher in the summer.


Subaru Legacy Coasting Through Heavy Rain

Moderate Climate Preparation

The Spring and Fall are a welcome transition from the extremes of their respective previous months but can be particularly unpredictable as well, offering short-sleeve temperatures followed by light snowfall a few days later.  This is also a good time to check how everything has  endured the harsh weather of the previous months.  Some common seasonal vehicle preparations for a moderate climate are as follows:

      • Inspect the tires – Primarily pressure but also tread depth and condition.
      • Test the battery – It may have worked hard in the previous months.
      • If you have summer tires or winter tires, change back to all-season tires for better dry traction and to save your specialized tires for when you need them.
      • Check the wipers and exterior lights – Keep yourself and everything around you visible in the rain.
      • Check the components of the suspension system.
      • Check all fluid levels. The previous months may have depleted these at a faster than usual rate.
      • Check the wheel alignment.
      • Inspect the heating, cooling and defroster system.
      • Check the brake pads and components.


Subaru Forester Driving in Snow

Cold Climate Preparation

No one needs to be reminded of the challenges of a Minnesota winter, and you likely selected your Subaru with winter in mind.  Just the same,  it should come to no surprise that preparing for winter is the most important seasonal check of all:

      • Switch to winter tires – All-wheel drive makes the best use of available traction, but winter tires actually increase traction, thus making AWD all that more effective.
      • Check the condition of wiper blades and consider winter wiper blades – Anything that increases your visibility is vital in poor weather.
      • Check exterior lights – Your visibility to others is just as high in importance in snowy conditions.
      • Adjust tire pressure – Cold temperatures decrease tire pressure.
      • Test the battery – Batteries are not only weaker in the cold, but it is also the worse time to have one die.­
      • Check the brake pads and components – The need for emergency maneuvers increases in poor weather.
      • Check all fluid levels.
      • Check the heating and defroster systems – They will be used extensively and this is another case of this being the worse time for to find out something is wrong.
      • Make sure windshield washer fluid is suitable for freezing temps. A washer fluid that isn’t will only make things worse.

The best way to check all these things is to schedule an appointment with our Subaru of Rochester service professionals. They will always know how to best check your Subaru for the months ahead.  Have your season check when the climate appears to transition, or combine it with your next oil change.