Winter weather can be intense. The cold rains, heavy snow, ice, thick fog, and frigid temps often make time spent outside less than pleasurable. But add in a day dealing with car problems, and the winter weather can seem dreadful. And while you can’t do anything about the weather, there are steps you can take to keep car problems to a minimum.
Winterizing Your Car
Driving on slippery roads any time of the year can be dangerous. Add ice, sleet, or snow, and the danger increases significantly. Before the first hint of slippery roads is given, take a few minutes to check your tire treads. You can use a tire tread depth gauge or grab a penny. While checking the tread, note any damaged areas affecting how well the tires grip the road. Also, if you haven’t had the tires balanced and rotated recently, now would be a good time to do so. And don’t stop at the tread! You should also be sure that your tires have the proper air pressure. Your owner’s manual will tell you what is correct for your vehicle. If you live in an area where snow is expected, be sure your snow tires are ready to go and the chains are in the trunk.
If you can’t recall when the oil was last changed, now is the time to do it. Having the proper oil level helps your car’s moving parts work better and puts less strain on the engine. But don’t stop with the oil. Check the transmission fluid, coolant/antifreeze, and brake fluid. Each item is necessary to keep your car working at optimum performance. You can get these fluids from your local AMSOIL dealer, Lifetime Oil. Another helpful fluid to keep topped off is windshield wiper cleaner. No, this won’t make your car perform any better, but it will allow you to have better visibility to be safer while driving.
You don’t want to rush out one morning to begin the day only to discover your car battery has died. Minimize this risk by checking it now. Be sure that it is clean with gunk or buildup on the terminals. If you haven’t replaced the battery in a while, you may want to have it tested at a local auto parts store or garage. They will be able to tell you if your battery should be fine for the winter or if you should replace it sooner rather than later.
Brakes and belts
The cold weather rarely affects your brakes but taking a few minutes to inspect them won’t hurt. Plan to get the work done if you notice any wear and tear. Likewise, the cold doesn’t bother belts, hoses, wires, and cables. But if they are loose, frayed, or showing signs of age, don’t ignore them. You don’t want these parts to stop working as you drive in bad weather.
Preparing your vehicle for Mother Nature’s coldest annual event is a must. You don’t want to be stuck on the side of the road, topping off fluids, changing a tire, or needing a tow. Do these winterizing tasks now so you can stay warm and safe while traveling this winter.