One aspect of having a car that many people overlook is in properly preparing it for the winter. Though you may not have to go through too much preparation if you live in a part of the United States that has warm temperatures year-round, chances are that most of you should be preparing it.
It can not only help you to avoid car breakdowns, which could cost you a considerable amount of stress and costs, but it really doesn't take very long to prepare it. Plus, you don't want to be in a situation where you are stranded out in the cold.
So here's what you should do:
Perform Overall Maintenance
Performing overall maintenance on it means checking the fluid levels. This includes the transmission fluid, oil, coolant fluid, and brake fluid. In addition, make sure that the filter is replaced for your oil or automotive transmission, especially if you use the car often.
- Examine your brakes and make sure that they're working properly and that there isn't damage that has been done to them. Some of the damage that may be present on your brakes could include warped or cracked rotors, or worn down pads.
- Check the lights too and make sure that everything is working to full capacity. If a light flickers in and out constantly or is dim, have it replaced.
- Finally, make sure that if your wipers are more than 6 months old, that they're replaced. Don't forget to make sure that your vehicle has sufficient anti-freeze in it as well.
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Examine the Tires
Examine the tires of the vehicle. In the winter time, especially in the face of icy or snowy conditions, making sure that your tires are okay is extremely vital.
You should not take the chance of driving on a slippery road on tires that are less than up for the challenge. Remember, it's your health on the line, so don't take any chances. Depending on your budget, you should consider purchasing winter tires. Winter tires are useful because they have rubber compounds that are formulated specifically for low temperature. They are also better able to grip the snow.
You may think that your all-season tires are enough, but they still will get a bit brittle in extreme temperatures.
Having tires that have a consistent and firm grip on the road will help to make sure that features such as anti-lock brakes and all-wheel drive function properly.
Also, make sure that all of your tires have sufficient air in them. Make sure that your spare tire has air in it too.
Make Sure the Inside is Properly Equipped
Winters can be messy, especially with all of the snow, ice, and mud that gets into your car. You should make sure that you place all-weather floor mats inside if you want to make sure that your car doesn't suffer any permanent stains inside.
Finally, also make sure that all of your windows are clean, as you will need as much visibility as possible in the case of a snow storm.
Examine the Coolant System Completely
The coolant system of your car has to be checked out before the winter begins. The harsh cold temperatures of winter can render it ineffective if it's faulty in any way. Two parts that have to be checked out, in particular, are the radiator and the hoses. If your car is at least a few years old, you should make sure that the thermostat works as well.
You should take your car to an automotive shop to get the coolant system checked out properly
Keep the Necessary Supplies Inside of It
Even if you make sure that all of the above is done, there's still a chance that a winter storm could leave you stuck in a perilous situation. That's why you should always make sure that your car is stocked with:
- Jumper cables
- A flashlight (with full batteries)
- A window scraper and brush
- A blanket
Don't skimp out or ignore winter preparation. All it takes is a little bit of time, and you'll be set for the entire winter!
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.