As the weather begins to get cold and winter comes rushing in this year, be sure your car is in the best possible condition it can be for the cold weather months ahead. By taking the time to ensure your car’s maintenance, you will save money in the long run and get the most out of your gas mileage. To be prepared for harsh weather conditions that can wear and tear on your vehicle there are a few simple steps you can follow:
1. Check Your Tires
Tire tread can wear down before you even notice it! Your tire should have at least 4/16’s of an inch of tread all the way around. If your tires don’t have this or they are showing bald spots, you need to get them replaced as soon as possible. All season tires aren’t very good for heavy snow, so if you live in an area that gets a lot of heavy snow fall, you may want to invest in a set of snow tires. If you live in an area that gets light to moderate amounts of snow fall, all season tires should be suitable, but investing in a set of snow chains for your tires wouldn’t be a bad idea in the long run.
2. Change Your Oil & Oil filter
Changing your oil and oil filter on a regular basis is a must for a well-running engine. In cold months this is even more important! You may want to change your oil to a winter grade oil to ensure that your engine is properly protected. This will also help out with on cold mornings when you go to start your car. Replacing the oil filter helps your engine flow and run more cleanly.
3. Check Your Anti-freeze
Maintaining the proper levels of anti-freeze in your coolant system is a must for good car maintenance. Anti-freeze should be replaced every two years, but it doesn’t hurt to change it every year. Always be sure the color in your coolant system is good with no signs of rust or dirt.
4. Replace Windshield Wipers
Weather conditions take a toll pretty quickly on wiper blades. They last for about a year at most and then need to be replaced. Check your windshield wipers for signs of cracking and flaking. If you find this, you should replace them as soon as possible.
5. Check Fuses & Lights
This is a quick check and a very quick repair if you have lights or fuses that need to be replaced. It gets dark early in winter and lights are used more often during the cold weather months so it is important to ensure that all lights on your vehicle are in proper working order. Refer to your owner’s manual for replacing lights and fuses in your vehicle.
6. Check Your Battery
Your battery is one of the most important parts of your car. If your battery is more than five years old, it needs to be replaced. If you have a fairly new battery, check the battery cables and couplings to ensure they are free of dirt and corrosion. This will keep you from having to stand out in cold weather jump starting your car.
Taking care of your car is important year round, but in the winter months it is even more important to ensure the maintenance of your vehicle for your own safety and well-being. By giving your car a well-deserved tune-up ahead of time, you are saving yourself a lot of hassle and headaches down the road. By following these simple steps outlined above, you can drive your car with worry-free confidence.