Were you sweating from the sunny heat on Halloween? We were! But that doesn’t mean our weather can’t change overnight.
Cold weather put our cars to the test as well as our ability to drive in treacherous conditions. You know what they say about an ounce of prevention…
Here are our tips to get ready for snow covered roads and freezing temperatures.
If your car needs regular service, get it done now.
Since failing hoses, belts, water pumps and spark plug wires can leave you stranded in the winter, it’s better to bite the bullet and fix them now. It’s better than spending the same amount of money and avoid a 3 hour wait for the tow truck and the bill that comes with it.
Check Your Tire Pressure
When you bring your vehicle in we not only handle your repairs and maintenance but we also check your very important tire pressure. Why is this such a big deal in Winter? Because tire pressure drops by about one pound per ten degrees of temperature. So, if it’s 20 degrees now and you haven’t checked your tire pressure since mid-July, your tires could be dangerously low and will jeopardize your car’s handling.
Make sure your battery and charging system are up to snuff.
Your battery can leave you stranded simply because it’s old and lousy. Or it could leave you stranded because your charging system isn’t working well, and the battery isn’t getting charged properly. Don’t assume a slow starting or non-starting issue is a battery. Let us check out your whole system and make a battery recommendation to get you through winter reliably.
Check the cooling system.
Make certain the antifreeze will protect your car at the winter temperatures you’ll experience in your area. For most areas, you’ll need a 50-50 mix of coolant to water. You may think, “I’ll be extra good to my car, and give it 100% coolant.” Guess what? You’re wrong. The 50-50 mix has a lower freezing point. Not only that, but 100% coolant is less able to transfer heat away from your engine, and has been known to cause such nasty things as engine failure under the wrong circumstances. If you have leaks in the cooling system, take care of them now.
Know your car
Every car has different handling characteristics. You should know what your car can and cannot do in the snow. You should know if you have front, rear, part-time or full-time four-wheel drive; anti-lock brakes; traction control; and stability control. You should know what kind of tires are on the car, and how all those things work and how they help you or don’t help you.
- Make sure your windshield wipers are in good shape.
- Keep your windshield washer fluid full.
- Maintain a fuller gas tank during the winter. Remember, if you get stranded your running car may be your only source of heat
- Carry sandbags in your trunk if you have a rear-wheel drive vehicle.
- Invest in proper tires for your vehicle and your driving condition. What works for your friend’s car may not be right for you. We are happy to help you figure out the best tires to keep you safe.
- Make sure you have some basic supplies in your car in case you do get stuck.
- Clean off your car entirely including headlights and taillights.