How to Winterize Your Car
If you think winter is hard on you, just consider how your car feels as you leave it out in the cold. Winter weather isn’t kind to your car. Luckily, you can winterize your car and get ready for the upcoming ice and snow. It’s a process you should do every year.
Wondering what you should do to winterize your car? It’s easy stuff, but each of these steps is important.
Schedule a Routine Maintenance Visit
One thing is for sure — you don’t want to drive into winter without knowing your car’s condition. Your car could have problems you aren’t aware of, causing an inconvenient or dangerous breakdown.
Before the snow flies, have your mechanic look your car over to make sure it’s ready for another harsh winter. Have the brakes and fluids checked, along with the steering and suspension. Get everything brought up to snuff so you can drive confidently.
Get Your Oil Changed
A great time to schedule your oil change is the change of seasons. Clean oil can help your engine start easier and can prevent running problems too. You may want to consider using synthetic oil for even smoother, reliable starts.
Check Your Antifreeze Strength
Have your mechanic check your antifreeze strength. It needs to be good for at least as cold as the lowest temperature you can expect this winter. If your antifreeze isn’t up to par and it freezes in your engine, it can be a major and untimely repair bill in your future.
Inspect Your Tires
For winter time, your tires need to be on point. If you have winter tires, get them installed when the temperature is consistently below 45 degrees. Make sure they have enough tread and are at the proper pressure as well.
Have your mechanic look over your tires during the routine maintenance visit for a little extra peace of mind.
Change Your Wipers
Without fail, you realize your wipers need to be replaced when you turn them on in the winter. Ice and snow build up on the arms and blades. All you can see through your windshield are blurred lines of a half-frozen mess.
While you’re replacing your wiper blades, top up your washer fluid with an appropriate winter washer antifreeze.
Get a Wheel Alignment
If your tires show signs of abnormal wear, it might be an indicator of bad wheel alignment. Or, if your steering wheel pulls to one side or shakes, there could be an alignment-related problem.
Have your wheel alignment performed annually. Your pre-winter alignment can catch suspension and steering issues that slip through the cracks undetected and can enhance your driving experience this winter.
Detail Your Car
Start the winter season with a clean car, and commit to cleaning it regularly. Highway salt combined with the moisture can breed corrosion in any little nook and cranny. It’s best to get that salt off your car every week or two, preventing the start of rust and corrosion that are unsightly and damage your car.
Assemble Your Winter Survival Kit
You could be the best driver on the highway, but trouble can strike anyone. Keep a well-stocked winter survival kit in your car, complete with food and water, warm supplies and emergency first aid. It’s great to have with you, and can be useful for yourself or if you come across another motorist who needs assistance.
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