Holy cow!! Where did summer go to?!? Did you notice the days are suddenly shorter and the mornings are a bit nippier? It’s getting time to air out the coats and boots. Winter’s coming and it’ll be here before you know it. Some meteorologists are predicting a polar vortex that will make last year’s look like a Florida beach vacation and a lot more of the white stuff. Boo, hiss.
While you’re transitioning into hibernation mode, don’t forget your car is not a fan of winter either. The bitter cold, snow and salt are its mortal enemies. As our very valued customer, we want you to have a safe winter. During the next few weeks, we’ll be posting some tips on how to keep your car in tip-top shape and you safer during the coming winter months.
Preparing Your Car
Tune it up. The first thing you should do is have your car completely checked out. Make sure the following is in good working order: battery, belts, hoses, radiator, lights, brakes, suspension, exhaust system, heater/defroster, wipers, and ignition system. Have all fluids checked and topped off, especially the coolant/antifreeze and oil. Traction is the key to good momentum, turning and stopping on wet or icy surfaces. Tires should not be worn or bald. If they are, have them replaced.
Little things you can do over the winter. Check the tire pressure at least once a month when the tires are cold and follow your owner’s manual for proper tire pressure. Make sure wipers are working properly. If they’re leaving streaks, it’s time to replace them. Windshield washer fluid should be rated in the -40 degree range and it might not be a bad idea to make sure it also has a deicer in it. Always keep the reservoir full and an extra jug in the trunk. Keep the gas tank at least half full at all times, for a couple of reasons. One: it helps minimize moisture in the tank and fuel lines. If it really gets cold, put in a bottle of dry gas to help offset any moisture buildup. Keep a couple of bottles in the trunk next to the washer fluid. Second: if you have a rear wheel drive vehicle, it’ll give some added weight for better traction. If we ever get a spell of warm weather, go to a car wash and blast the salt off.