As the temperatures drop, it’s time to think about winter car maintenance. When was the last time you changed your oil? Checked your fluid levels? Had your breaks inspected?
With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s easy to overlook preventative vehicle maintenance. Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to get back on track. Cooler temperatures drastically affect your car. Additionally, there can be leftover repairs needed from the heat of summer that only add to the stress on your ride. These winter car maintenance suggestions can help keep your vehicle in top shape.
Top 5 Winter Car Maintenance Tips
- Whether you’re looking at ‘all-season’ or ‘snow’ tires, it’s safest to have all four wheels replaced at once.
- If you’re not replacing your tires, have a certified technician, like the experts at one of our shops, check the pressure, wear, and alignment of your tires.
- If you need new tires, all-season ones are perfect for areas with minimal snow. However, if you live in or plan to travel to areas with heavy or frequent snowfall, snow tires are a must. Winter tires are specially designed to grip snow and ice to give you the maximum amount of traction.
2. Oil and Fluids
- If you keep up with your car’s regularly scheduled maintenance, your coolant or antifreeze is probably fine. But, if you’ve missed a visit, it’s a good idea to have it flushed and filled.
- Get your washer fluid checked! This fluid can be vital when needing to clear your windshield for visibility.
- Oil can thicken in cold temperatures, making it harder for the engine to turn over. If you plan to be somewhere where the temperatures drop dramatically, check your owner’s manual and talk with a technician about the best oil for your car.
- Batteries can be professionally tested to give you the most accurate information about their health.
- Batteries are more difficult to operate during the winter and are prone to dying if not in good working condition. If your battery is older than 5 years, or has gone through two Arizona summers, chances are it needs to be replaced to keep you from getting stranded.
- With the sun setting earlier and rising later, it’s important to make sure all your lights are functioning properly and shining brightly.
- A simple trick to make sure your car is visible to others and provides you with the necessary brightness to drive safely, is to get the headlights and taillights waxed.
5. Wiper Blades
- Do a test on your wiper blades. If they leave streaks or if spots are missed, it’s time to replace them. Keep in mind, even the best blades usually need to be replaced every six months.
- To help extend the life of your wiper blades, and to make sure they are the most useful to you this winter season, clean the rubber edge with a paper towel and some glass cleaner.
Lastly, here’s a helpful tip you’ll want to remember this winter: keep a survival kit in your car and include the basics such as jumper cables, water, a blanket, and snacks. Also, don’t forget helpful extras like flashlights, a whistle, a charger that fits your car’s cigarette lighter, and a first aid kit.
Whatever your vehicle needs are this winter, one of our tried and true shops is there to help. At NARPRO we want to make sure your vehicle is safe to drive this winter and all year long. Schedule an appointment for winter car maintenance at one of our local auto repair shops today!