It’s only November, but a lot of people have already seen Winter Weather. Is your car ready for Winter Weather? Check out these Maintenance tips to make sure your car is in tip top shape this Winter!
Are you due for an oil change? Are you approaching the 30,000 Mile Full Service mark? Don’t procrastinate. As it gets colder, oil tends to thicken and if it’s too thick it won’t do the best job of keeping your engine lubricated.
Check Your Battery
Oh yea…see corrosion on the posts and connections? It’s time to give that battery some love! Make sure the posts and connections are corrosion free and if your battery is over 3 years old, have a certified technician look it over. Do you really want to take the chance of having your battery die when it is 20 degrees outside?
Tires, Tires, Tires
Get your tire pressure checked! Don’t know what your tire pressure should be? Your owner’s manual should tell you. As it gets colder, tire pressure drops. If your tires are not properly pressurized, you lose traction…Do you want to loose traction in snowy, wet, or icy conditions?
Four Wheel Drive?
If you have four wheel drive, make sure that you check the status of your four wheel drive to make sure it is working properly. Mine wasn’t working properly last year and I ignored it…I ended up destroying the 4 wheel drive in my truck and losing my favorite truck of all time, Chevy Avalanche, because it cost too much to fix it. Do you want to be in my position?
Get Your Antifreeze Mixture Correct!
Have a 50-50 mix of antifreeze and water inside your radiator. This will prevent the mixture from freezing even at ridiculously cold temperatures. It’s easy to check the status of the mixture with an inexpensive antifreeze tester, which you can pick up at any auto parts store. If the mixture is off, your cooling system should be drained and refilled or flushed. Or, if you don’t want to do it yourself, take your car to a certified auto technician!
Windshield Wiper Check!
You know how I figured out I needed new windshield wipers? When I was driving down the 77 in a downpour and turned them on…and couldn’t see. YIKES! Your Windshield washer needs to be an antifreeze solution. You know…frost or ice on your windows! Your wiper blades should be in good shape and you might even want to use a winter blade in case of snow!
Check Your Belts and Hoses
I walk out to the truck one day, turn it on to warm it up and all I can see is a huge puddle under the truck. Yes, as a matter of fact, one of my hoses was cracked and I was leaking antifreeze all over the place! It doesn’t matter how old your car is, dry winter air can damage your belts and hoses. Be sure to check them and make sure they are free of any wear or tear.
Check Exterior Lights
Have you ever had a neighbor come up to you and say “Did you know your left brake light was out?” I have..and wondered “How long has that been out!?” Do a self check of all exterior lights. Including your hazards. You don’t want to be rear ended just because a brake light was out do you?
Can you see President Lincoln?
Check your tire tread. Opinions vary on how much tread you should really have, but you can always use the Penny Test. Turn the upside down and place it in a tread. If Lincoln’s head is covered by the tread, then the tire is still usable.
You should always have Safety Kit in your car, regardless of the season. Here is what you should have minimally in a Car Safety Kit:
- a blanket
- extra boots and gloves
- an extra set of warm clothes
- extra water and food, including hard candies
- an ice scraper
- a small shovel
- a flashlight
- windshield washer fluid
- windshield wipers
- jumper cables
- a tool kit
- tire chains
- a tire gauge
- a spare tire with air in it
- tire-changing equipment
- a first-aid kit
- paper towels
- a bag of abrasive material such as sand, salt or non-clumping kitty litter, which can provide additional traction if a tire gets stuck in snow.
- Also, keep the gas tank as full as you can to prevent the gas lines from freezing.
These are just some of the ways you should get your car ready for winter. If you really want to get your car ready for winter and not do it yourself, take it to a certified auto technician. But don’t delay..Winter is fast approaching.