5 Things To Prepare Your Car For Winter

Fall is a great time to get your car ready for winter driving. Check these 5 things or have your mechanic do it at your next tune up or oil change.

BATTERY

Starting your car in cold weather takes more umph from your battery so you should check it for voltage and replace if necessary. Now would be a good time to clean up the battery cable connections in case you do need a jump. It’s always a good idea to carry jumper cables in your vehicle.

TIRES

Check your tires for proper inflation (see your owner’s manual or the inside of the door), sufficient tread and even wear. Driving in winter conditions can sometimes be hazardous. Improperly inflated or worn tires can magnify the problem. Keep a pressure gauge in the console or glove compartment and get in the habit of checking tire pressure every other fill. It’ll give you something to do while the gas is pumping.

Penny in tread

TIP: The ol’ penny trick for checking tire tread. Place a penny in the tread with Lincoln’s head pointed towards the tire. If you can see all of Abe’s head, it’s time for new tires.

COOLANT

Make sure you have the right coolant for the climate you live in. Top off the reservoir and check for leaks. If it’s been several years since you’ve had your system flushed, you may want to have it done during your fall tune up. Coolant itself has a pretty long shelf life but dirt and gunk that collect over time may affect the cooling system.

WIPERS AND WIPER FLUID

Winter driving is messy business and windshield wipers can get quite a workout. Make sure your wiper blades work properly. If they leave streaks behind, it’s time to replace them. Same goes for rear wiper blades. Be sure your wiper fluid reservoir is full. The amount of wiper fluid you use during one slushy commute can be deceiving so it’s not a bad idea to keep extra fluid in your vehicle just in case.

BELTS AND HOSES

Cold temps can weaken belts and hoses. And if a belt goes, you’ll be calling a tow truck. Save yourself the hassle and expense and have your mechanic check your belts now before cold weather sets in.