Leaves are changing color, autumn leaves are falling, pumpkins are being picked, and squirrels and other animals are gathering food for winter. Are you as prepared for the coming cold as they are? It is especially important to get your car ready for cooler temperatures as they greatly impact the health of your vehicle. Performing preventative maintenance now will make sure your vehicle gets you through the winter safely!
7 Preventative Maintenance Items
Let these useful ideas for common cold-weather car problems help keep your car running smoothly and your family safe this winter.
- Check the hoses and belts for leaks or cracks which often occur during the summer months.
- Check all fluid levels so that visibility, lubrication, and engine temperatures can all function at optimal levels. Be sure to use a washer fluid that won’t freeze in cooler temperatures and ask your local autobody shop professional if there a specific oil, transmission, and/or power steering fluid that would benefit your car as many of these liquids get thicker in winter.
- Check the tires! Tires are subject to huge changes during the cooler months. Cold temperatures affect tire pressure (check while cold to get an accurate reading), grip and traction can be altered, and verify if you need winter tires; especially if traveling to notoriously cold destinations. This is also a great time to check for uneven wear and even rotate your tires.
- Check the heater as well as the defroster so that your windshield can be defrosted promptly. Also, technicians say you should clear your windshield before using wipers and defrosting.
- Check the brakes! Snow and ice make roads slick and exacerbate any existing brake issue.
- Check the lights. The days get shorter and the nights get longer. Making sure that all lights (headlights, taillights, blinkers, and brake lights) are working properly ensures visibility.
- Check the battery for any sign of corrosion. Most autobody shops will do this for free! Keep in mind that cold weather can kill a car battery more readily. A battery effected by cold weather usually lasts only 3 years. This is also when you would want to have your spark plugs checked to help avoid start-up issues.
It pays to be safe! In addition to having your vehicle looked over, don’t forget to include a safety kit in your trunk; especially if you are traveling to snowy areas. It is also handy to keep a Winter Car Care Checklist in the glove compartment to remind yourself of what needs to be done.
Let the experts at NARPRO direct you to a local autobody shop that will get your car in tip-top share for Fall and Winter. With professionals you can trust, NARPRO is the way to go.