Tips For Getting Your Car Winter Ready

 In Safe Driving Guide

There is nothing more frustrating than having your car damaged or not start in the middle of winter. Here we have composed a few tips to get your car winter ready, ensuring that your car runs smoothly and is damage free this winter.

Flush your radiator system

One of the most overlooked practices in automobile maintenance is the flushing of the radiator system. You can either take the DIY approach or see an experienced mechanic to get your car winter ready. Be sure to check with your vehicles owner manual to ensure you are using the proper coolant for your vehicle. Inspect hoses for tears, rips, and abrasions, as well as your reservoirs for cracks and proper fluid levels. Improper coolant levels can dramatically affect how your car heats up, or worse, cause severe engine damage.

Inspect your tires

Improperly inflated or worn tires pose a real danger, especially in the winter season. You should check to see if your tires have proper tread and are properly inflated according to the vehicle specifications. All weather tires are sufficient in most situations, but in some cases, winter tires may be needed. Places where there is heavy snowfall or mountainous terrain may call for special winter tires and/or chains.

Make sure you have working windshield wipers

We can’t stress enough the importance of working windshield wipers. Most car part stores offer to install them for free with purchase. Make sure your blades clear enough visible area from driver side to passenger side. It is very important to ensure that you have adequate windshield wiper fluid in your vehicle. It may be best to install winter blades in more colder, ice prone climates.

Have your brakes inspected

Help get your car winter ready by having your brake pads and rotors inspected. You don’t want to risk not be able to stop on icy pavement because of a faulty brake system. Also, check to see that your brake fluid is at the proper level.

Inspect your battery

Make sure that your battery and connections are free from corrosion. Corrosion can cause your battery to lose charge and work improperly. You can take your battery in to an auto parts store to have it’s charge checked properly. A car battery usually last 5-7 years, so a car battery over 3 years old should be inspected by a licensed mechanic.

Ensure that your heater and defroster work

Turn on your heater to make sure that it works at all speeds and temperatures. Be sure to turn on your front and rear defrosters to make sure they work. The most common problem associated with a car heater is the blower which is an inexpensive fix for most makes and models.

Lights and turn signals

Faulty lights and turn signals can be dangerous in any driving conditions. Make sure your lights are clean from debris and snow and that all your proper signals are working.

Keep your oil changed

It is acceptable to go 5,000 miles between oil changes, but in severe winter conditions, it is recommended to change your oil about every 3,000 miles.

Have a mechanic check your exhaust systems for leaks

How often do we allow our car to warm up in the winter before we drive? Most times during the winter, we are driving with the windows up. A exhaust leak during the winter could be fatal because of the ripe conditions for carbon monoxide to be leaked and trapped into the passenger compartment.

Maintain proper fuel levels and replace filters

In the winter it is recommended to keep at least a half tank of gas to prevent gas line from freezing. You should also change all filters with every oil change.

Last but not least, keep your vehicle clean

Road salt and ice can damage a car if left on it for extended periods of time. Remove ice buildup from around the wheel areas and make sure all windows have a high area of visibility.

It is important to get your car winter ready before it is too late. It is also important to keep the areas around your home/business free of snow and ice, such as sidewalks and driveways. Are you in need of rock salt for your home or business this winter? Contact us today!

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