Do you winterize your car? I bet not many of you do. In fact, about 70% of drivers don’t winterize their vehicles at all, and it’s quite simple to do. Five things to check are your tires, battery, A/C unit, maintenance schedule and emergency kit. Here’s more:
- Tires. Before winter gets too crazy, it is important to check your tire pressure and tread. You can check your tire tread simply with a penny. With Lincoln’s head upside down and facing you, if you can see Lincoln’s entire head, it’s time to replace your tires.
Your tire tends to loose pressure during winter months. Why? Well, air is a gas. It expands when it’s hot and condenses when it’s cold. This is why it is important to check your tire pressure (while your tires are cool) during winter months. Some even suggest checking it each morning in the winter. In fact, purchasing winter tires (especially if you live in a location where it snows regularly) offers you a better grip with soft, adaptable treads. In addition to your tires, inspect your brakes as well.
- Battery. Did you know your car battery can lose up to 35% of its power in temperatures lower than 32 degrees and up to 60% at 0 degrees? This is why it is important to check your battery and charging system. For accurate readings use a voltmeter. Also, make sure your headlights and tail lamps are working properly.
- A/C Unit. Run your heater before it’s too late. Turn it on full blast. If it doesn’t work, first check to see if your coolant is low and fill it accordingly. Other things to check out include your thermostat/low temperature gauge, your heater control valve and your heater control. According to Car Care Council, you should flush and put new antifreeze in your cooling system every two years too.
- Maintain Maintenance. It’s wise to get scheduled tune-ups and maintenance done before winter sets in. This includes changing your oil, making sure you have de-icer windshield washer fluid, and winter wiper blades.
- Prepare Emergency Kit. Keep an emergency kit on deck during winter months. You don’t want to be stuck in snow without an effective form of communication, food and other material that can help you. Consider adding these products to your emergency kit: LED flares, blanket, small shovel, sand or kitty litter, snow brush/ice scraper, jumper cables or jump starter, flashlight, extra batteries, cell phone charger, gloves, boots, blankets, hand-warmers and high-energy snacks and consider snow chains.
Follow these tips and you’ll avoid the winter car repair blues.
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