It’s that time of the year again; time to get you and your vehicle ready for the blustery winter months ahead. So what should you do first? Tires? Fluids? Battery? Don’t worry we have you covered. Before you do anything else it is important to have your vehicle inspected and have any services or adjustments completed before the temperature gets too cold. The first maintenance to be performed is changing your engine’s oil and coolant (or antifreeze). It is very important to have your engine coolant checked for the winter to ensure that water and other liquids do not freeze in your engine. Without antifreeze, your engine’s fluids will freeze and your engine won’t start. Your vehicle’s transmission, power steering, brakes, radiator, radiator fluid, battery, battery fluid, wipers, wiper fluid, belts, and hoses should all be checked, and replaced if necessary, to ensure proper operation during the winter. Once you’ve checked all appropriate fluids its time to check your starting system, charging system, and battery are vital during the winter. Your battery requires a certain level of amps to start your vehicle, especially in cold weather. If your battery is old, your vehicle may not start on very cold days. Your alternator should also be checked to make sure your vehicle would have the necessary electrical currents needed to power everything electrical in the vehicle. Wipers and wiper fluid may get overlooked sometimes, but during the winter they are essential for safe driving. Good wiper blades and a full tank of wiper fluid are necessary to keep your windshield clean. During the winter, windshields get very dirty from wet roads and the salt used to keep roads from freezing.
Next on our list is your tires. You want to make sure your tires are in good condition and have enough tread depth. You should also consider using snow tires. Snow tires are specially designed to deliver better traction and control on snow and ice. You should consider using winter tires especially if your vehicle uses high-performance tires during the spring and summer months. High-performance tires do not have the grip and traction necessary to travel on slick, snowy roads. You should also check your tire pressure. It is important to have your tires inflated to the proper levels to ensure your tires will be in full contact with the road surface. It is important to remember that your tire’s air pressure will drop in cold weather, which makes checking your tire’s air pressure even more important. If your vehicle has four-wheel drive, it is necessary to check to make sure it is working properly since it isn’t used very much during the spring and summer months.
Finally, it is also smart to keep a safety kit in your vehicle during the winter. You should have a flashlight, batteries, flares, jumper cables, tool kit, and a first-aid kit in case your vehicle breaks down. You should also have a blanket and warm clothes to keep you and your passengers warm in case your vehicle gets stuck. You should keep an ice scraper and extra wiper fluid in your vehicle. You should also have tire chains and sand or salt in case one of your tires gets stuck. The tire chains and sand or salt will provide extra traction to help get your vehicle moving again. This preventive maintenance will ensure your vehicle is prepared for the winter months. It is better to be safe than sorry, especially during the winter.