The snow is flying in many areas of the country, which means it’s time to think about winter car care. The last thing you want is to find yourself stranded in the dead of winter because you didn’t take care of your vehicle.
If you want to make sure your car stays in top shape and gets you where you need to go this winter, check out these winter car care tips. It’s never too late to get prepared!
Check Your Battery
Car batteries generally last 4 years (give or take, based on the conditions that you drive in regularly). This doesn’t mean that you need to automatically replace it after 4 years, but just be aware that replacement may be necessary soon.
Having your mechanic check your battery and watching out for signs your battery is about to die can give you peace of mind, especially if it’s older.
Replace Brake and Windshield Washer Fluids
During the winter, precipitation can make your brake fluid dirty. This causes water molecules to be present in the brake fluid, which isn’t good for your car. You should replace your brake fluid at the beginning of the winter to keep your car running well.
A winter-based formula of windshield washer fluid is also necessary, as a summer formula may freeze in the winter.
Have the Brakes Checked
It’s also important to have the brakes checked to prepare for winter as well. You don’t want to find out that your brakes are shot when you’re trying to stop on some ice!
The salt and precipitation in the winter also erode your brakes and make rust spots on your rotors, so having them checked mid-winter or at the end of the winter is also a good idea.
Check and Rotate the Tires
You can probably get away with not buying snow tires, but you should still make sure that you tires are in good shape. Check the tread on the tires to make sure the depth is still acceptable (a good rule of thumb is that anything under 5/32nds of an inch should be replaced).
Tires should also be rotated regularly (usually every 6 months) to make sure that each tire wears evenly. This makes them last longer and also ensures that you have the safest tires in the front or back (depending on whether your car has front-wheel-drive or not).
Check the Wipers
If your wiper blades are leaving streaks or missing large sections of your windshield, it’s time to replace them. This is particularly important in the winter, when you may be dealing with snow or a rain-snow mix on your windows.
If you want to extend the life of them a bit, clean the rubber edge with a paper towel and glass cleaner. Don’t do that too much, though, as it’s much safer to get new wiper blades (and the cost isn’t much either).
Keep Winter Gear in Your Vehicle
Finally, be sure to keep some winter gear in your vehicle. Having a snow brush and ice scraper is a necessity.
You may also want to consider a small shovel, a first aid kit, and warm weather gear in case you do find yourself stranded or stuck. Your gas tank should never go below half a tank either.
Winter Car Care to Keep You Safe
These winter car care tips will hopefully get you through the winter months safely and without incident. A little time and a small investment at the beginning of the winter might pay off once the weather turns really bad.
For a tune-up and check of all of your systems, to make sure everything is running smoothly this winter, get in touch with us today!