The last thing any driver needs is to break down in cold, harsh winter weather. A vehicle check now before winter arrives is a sensible way to be prepared for inclement weather and avoid the inconvenience of being stranded out in the cold and with the unexpected expense of emergency repairs.
We recommend the following nine easy steps for winterizing your vehicle:
- You may be due for a tune-up, we suggest that you have it done before winter sets in. Winter magnifies existing problems such as pings, hard starts, sluggish performance or rough idling.
- Have the battery and charging system checked for optimum performance. Cold weather is hard on batteries.
- Allow us to clean, flush and put new antifreeze in the cooling system. As a general rule of thumb, this should be done every two years. When was the last time you had this done?
- Make sure heaters, defrosters and wipers work properly. Consider winter wiper blades and use cold weather washer fluid.
- Check the tire tread depth and tire pressure. During winter, tire pressure should be checked weekly.
- Allow us to check your brakes for your safety, this is one of the most important tools your car has during this season.
- We will check the exhaust system for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed.
- Check to see that exterior and interior lights work and headlights are properly aimed.
- Be diligent about changing the oil and filter at recommended intervals. Dirty oil can spell trouble in winter.
Motorists should also keep the gas tank at least half full at all times to decrease the chances of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing. Drivers should check the tire pressure of the spare in the trunk and stock an emergency kit with an ice scraper and snowbrush, jumper cables, flashlight, flares, blanket, extra clothes, candles/matches, bottled water, and non-perishable snacks.