With winter weather quickly approaching, many people are preparing for the holidays. But before you go dashing all the way to visit your loved ones, be sure to get that sleigh ready and prevent some expensive (and dangerous!) vehicle repairs.
I know what you’re thinking. I’m REALLY going to need that new Xphone Ibox. Don’t worry, it doesn’t take very much of your time or hard-earned cash to prepare for what old man winter throws your way. Ever heard the saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”? Take a look at our check list and you’ll be thanking us as you can forgo any costly repairs and pick up a few Patti LaBelle Sweet Potato Pies on your way to Grammies.
- Check your battery – Many people would be surprised to find out that the winter weather can be very rough on a vehicle’s battery. When the temperature drops, the engine requires more current from the battery to start. The last thing you need is a dead battery on a snowy morning. The good news? Some places like, AutoZone will check the voltage on your battery for FREE.
- Anti-Freeze/Coolant – Make sure the condition, level and concentration (usually a 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water) of your vehicle’s anti-freeze is appropriate. Antifreeze testers are inexpensive – around less than $3-$4.
- Oil/Filter – Check that your oil change has been recent. Also, you may consider switching to a “winter weight” oil. Some oils can thicken at lower temperatures and may not lubricate as well. Oil circulation is important for proper engine function.
- Tire Pressure – Take a minute and check the tire for proper inflation. Your tire will deflate 1psi for every -10 degrees. Inflated tires will help with safer tire traction on slippery winter roads.
- Emergency Road Kit – Even with careful planning, you cannot control the unpredictable. Having a winter kit in your car can save your life. Remember, your car makes a great shelter if you are stuck in dangerous winter weather. Keep your kit in the back passenger area in case you cannot reach the trunk. You can run your car’s heater, but make sure the snow does NOT cover the exhaust and keep your windows slightly open. This will circulate air and prevent dangerous fumes from entering your vehicle. Check out the Red Cross Winter Ready Car Kit for a complete list of necessities.
- The EXHAUST – Your vehicle’s exhaust system should be inspected for leaks. Take it to a professional who can place it on a lift and examine the system properly. Replacing or repairing leaks and crimped pipes will help keep carbon monoxide out of the passenger compartment. Carbon Monoxide is colorless, odorless and lethal. Any leak can impair your judgement while driving. If you hear any exhaust noise, the muffler or pipes are probably leaking and repairs are needed. Don’t put off any repairs that might be needed because delays can be deadly! Be safe and if you need new exhaust parts check out our wide selection at ThePartShack.com for your exhaust needs.
- Windshield Wipers – Consider winter windshield wiper blades that are better equipped to handle the ice and snow. If you cannot, then replace any worn wipers. Sand and salt can cause further damage to your wipers that can make it difficult to keep safe windshield visibility.
Along with these maintenance tips don’t forget to keep your tank at least half full during the winter in case you become stranded. Being ready and safe will keep your worries off costly car repairs and focus your attention who’s going to finish that last slice of sweet potato pie.