When cold weather returns, it’s easy to forget that your car needs as much attention as your wardrobe. You wouldn’t go out in frigid temperatures without the necessary hat, gloves, and coat, and, likewise, your car shouldn’t be out on the road without certain preparations.
Just as you pull out the sweaters, hats and gloves for winter, you should also take a close look at your car to make sure it has what it needs to survive a long, cold winter.
A little preparation goes a long way
Everyone has a busy schedule, but there is no excuse not to get your car ready for winter. The amount of time, effort, and money it takes to make sure your car is in excellent condition can help keep you and your family safe through some of the most challenging driving conditions of the year.
If you don’t already have an emergency kit in your car, consider putting together a few basic items and stowing them in your trunk. These items can include: flares, blankets, boots, and a flashlight.
Know your car levels
There are many parts of your car that have fluid and pressure levels that can fluctuate in cold weather. To ensure safe operation of your vehicle, be sure to review the items below:
·Tire quality and tire pressure: You might decide to get snow tires, but many drivers can do just fine with solid, year-round tires as long as they are in good shape. Adequate tread will help your car stay under control, and air pressure also helps with control and gas mileage. Check your owner’s manual for air pressure recommendations.
·Car battery: When was the last time you changed the car battery? If it’s been a while, invest in a new one. At less than $100, it is an inexpensive investment to keep your car starting quickly and smoothly.
·Oil: Check your oil level regularly to make sure it’s full. Maintain your car’s oil change schedule. Low oil levels or dirty oil can negatively affect your car’s performance in cold weather.
·Gas tank: Keep your gas tank at least one-quarter full at all times. Running your car with a nearly empty gas tank can cause issues with gas performance and cause engine problems. Also, you don’t want to unexpectedly run out of gas. Be aware of your tank’s fuel capacity to avoid getting stuck out in the cold.
Get a professional opinion
Give your car a little “pre-winter” professional preparation by having some service items taken care of before the temperatures bottom out. These, according to Jensen Tire & Auto include:
·Ensuring your car’s oil is the right thickness for cold temperatures.
·Making sure windshield wiper blades are replaced annually and fluid is topped off so you can have clear windshield vision.
·Verify that the heater and defroster are in good working order. You don’t want to find out there’s no heat while you’re stuck in sub-freezing temperatures!
·Check your tires! Cold weather means tire pressure can drop so periodically check that your tires are properly inflated.
·Consider investing in snow tires so you have extra traction in snow and ice.
·Testing headlights, brake lights, and turn and hazard lights. You want to make sure others can see you in inclement weather, so make sure those lights are working properly. Your service provider can make quick work of changing any of these items.
To answer any questions you may have and to ensure your car is ready for winter weather, talk to the experts at Jensen Tire & Auto! Click here to request an appointment at the location nearest you.