Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Getting Your Car Ready for Winter
Below are key areas of your vehicle that need your attention as the season moves into Winter.
1. Under the hood - First it is all about making sure your battery is strong enough to handle the cold. Most newer batteries last up to 5 years so it is a good idea to check around year 3 or 4 to see that the battery is aging well and can run the electrical components of the car and withstand the cold weather. The fluids under the hood are another area. Make sure oil, de-icer washer fluid and especially coolant, not just for hot summer driving, are all good. Don't forget the filters - Oil, fuel, transmission and air filters are important to keep your engine running well. Check your owner's manual to see how often they should be changed.
2. Tires - If it's cold enough to see your breath it's time to check your tire or at a very minimum check your tread. If you don't have a tread gauge use a penny - see how much of Lincoln's head sticks out. A half penny is a good indicator - less than half and you need to look at purchasing new tires. Check your tire pressure monthly - For every 10 degrees the temperature drops, your tires can lose about 1 pound per square inch (PSI) of pressure. Monitor your tire pressure more closely during the winter time.
3. The Trunk - Now for the trunk. You should have an emergency roadside kit that includes jumper cables, extra gloves, blanket, flash light, and yes kitty litter. Kitty litter is a great tool when stuck on ice or in mud or snow. It provides the traction your tires need to move out of the spin.
4. Keep it Clean - Last but not least, keep your car washed - Keeping the exterior washed and waxed will protect your vehicle from the elements as the seasons change.
It is never a good time to be stranded but Winter brings more problems than most times. Planning ahead always saves frustration later. Be safe and enjoy the season.