Prepare Your Car: Get Winterized! Another winter storm coming? Before you rush to the store for milk, bread and toilet paper, you’ll want to be sure your car is ready to battle the elements.
Coolant, Vital Fluids and Leaks – Vital fluids are the life and “blood” of a vehicle. Servicing dirty fluids will help ensure proper lubrication and functioning of vehicle systems. As well as keeping the engine from overheating; coolant ensures the engine doesn’t freeze! Fluid leaks are more likely to occur in cold temperatures as seals and other components compress. Leaks must be repaired if you see fluid dripping on the ground. Vital fluids that are too low will cause system failures.
Tires – Check tire pressure and tread depth. Cold weather deflates tires, so check pressure monthly and refill as needed. Make sure spare tire is in good condition-tire failures are easy and common in winter. Proper tread and pressure ensures maximum dependability and grip on wet and uneven surfaces. Snow tires add extra grip on snowy and icy roads but can actually decrease traction on normal or wet roads so make sure to swap them out when the snow melts.
Brakes – The braking system one of the most important safety items and is key when stopping on icy/snow covered roads.
Heater and Defrost – Make sure heater and defrost are functioning optimally keeping your windows clear for both comfort and safety.
Keep Your Gas Tank Full – Doing so helps prevent moisture from forming in the gas tank. Water and gas do not mix well!
Wiper Blades and Washer Fluid – Change wiper blades that streak, chatter, or are cracked. Cold weather can make them brittle and break. They are a very important safety item in winter as snow, dirt, and slush cover windshields while driving. Make sure you have full washer fluid, especially when driving for extended periods of time. No washer fluid can greatly reduce visibility!
Battery – Batteries weaken and endure heavier loads in cold weather. A battery that is close to failing may result in your vehicle not starting in cold temperatures.
Exhaust System – Winter is an especially bad time for there to be leaks in the exhaust system or floor boards that could result in exhaust leaking into the cab of the vehicle. The exhaust system should be inspected for leaks prior to winter.