It is the time again to winterize your ride! In this post we will explain standard procedure for getting your car prepared for the season.
1. Get an oil change. If you approaching the time for a 30,000-mile full service for your vehicle, do it! Among other things, the service should include an oil change. The oil should have the right viscosity for your vehicle and climate. Oil will thicken as it gets colder, and if it’s too thick it won’t do the optimal job keeping your engine lubricated. Check your owner’s manual for information about which oil to use.
2. Replace your wiper blades. They usually work well for about one year, so be sure to replace them with a good brand blade when doing so.
3. Fill up your windshield washer reservoir with windshield washer fluid. (Plain water won’t do the trick at this time of year because it freezes.) Also check to see that your heater and defroster are working properly so you can keep the windshield nice and clear.
4. Check your battery. Most auto parts stores and service centers will check your battery for free. Also, make sure your battery’s posts and connections are corrosion-free and that your battery has all the electrolite it needs.
5. Check your belts and hoses. When you have that full service done on your vehicle, make sure the belts and hoses get checked for wear and tear — even if you’re driving a modern car. Cold weather be tough on belts and hoses.
6. Check your tire pressure. Your tires must be properly inflated to ensure you’ll have the best possible traction as you drive along — and traction is often severely jeopardized in wet, snowy or icy conditions. The air pressure in your tires has likely dropped as the weather has gotten colder, so it’s important to see where things stand now. (You can generally expect that you’ll lose 1 pound per square inch whenever the temperature drops by 10 degrees.) The proper tire pressure can be found on the door placard or in your owners manual.
7. To snow tire or not to snow tire? Check your tires for wear, they should have at least 3/32″ of tread left. If they are near this mark, they are in need of replacement. Most tire shops can measure this tread for you for free, and if needed they can replace your old tread with new snow tires if desired.
8. Check your 4wd! Make a test run of the 4wd system, making sure it will engage and disengage properly. Be sure all the members in your household knows how to use it, and when to use it for optimal safety.
9. Check your antifreeze. Antifreeze testers are available at most parts stores and department stores for $2-$5. Be sure you have the proper mix of antifreeze and water, to prevent freezing.
10. Prepare an emergency kit. Safety first!
•extra boots and gloves
•an extra set of warm clothes
•extra water and food, including hard candies
•an ice scraper
•a small shovel
•windshield washer fluid
•a tool kit
•a tire gauge
•a spare tire with air in it
•a first-aid kit
•a bag of abrasive material such as sand, salt or non-clumping kitty litter, which can provide additional traction if a tire gets stuck in snow.
•Also, keep the gas tank as full. This will prevent the gas lines from freezing.