Car Maintenance Tips for Winter
Preparing your car for the colder winter months is important. Below are 10 tips from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and CarCare.org.
- Read your owner’s manual and follow the recommended service schedules. Generally, there are two service schedules listed (normal and severe). Any service lights on in your car should be taken care of before the weather gets colder.
- Replace wiper blades and fluid. Freezing rain and snow will be here before you know it. You may consider stocking up on wiper fluid and keep an ice scraper in your car. Your wipers and fluid will deteriorate quickly.
- Check heater and defroster. Defrost is necessary in order to have good visibility, especially in the snow. Not to mention, not having heat in your car throughout the winter is miserable. Check these functions and have them fixed if needed.
- Have your battery checked. If you do get stranded in the snow or even need a tow on a cold night, you’ll want to be sure your battery is charged. This way, you’ll have a way to turn the heat on while you wait.
- Stock your car with the items needed for emergencies. Even if your heater, battery, and everything else is in tip-top shape, you should prepare for emergencies. Keep a blanket, jumper cables, flares, water, flashlight, snacks, gloves, a small shovel, and a car charger for your cell phone.
- Make sure your brakes are up to par. Have your brakes checked or have them replaced before winter. Driving on worn brake pads will destroy your rotors and it decreases stopping power.
- Check your tire tread. If your tire tread is low it will impact your ability to safely drive in snow or ice. People living in areas that have heavy snow may consider purchasing snow tires.
- Replace filters. You’ve probably been running your A/C all summer. Be sure to change your air filters prior to the colder months.
- Get any existing problems fixed. Cold weather will only make them worse. If your brakes have been bad, the cold weather will make them break down faster. The same is true of any engine problems. Extreme weather changes will intensify your problem. Take your car in to get serviced before it gets cold.
- Perform other basic maintenance. This includes oil changes, fluid top offs and flushes, tire alignments, and other basic care. Each of these things needs to be done on a regular basis. Doing so will minimize the likelihood of you having car trouble.
The end of summer marks the perfect time to be sure your car is in the best shape possible for fall and the upcoming winter. Consider the car maintenance tips above when prepping your vehicle.
For money-saving car maintenance tips, check out the video below!
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