3 winter car maintenance tips to keep your family safe.
Photo by Chris Peeters from Pexels
Winter is on its way and there’s no stopping it. It’s going to bring poor driving conditions with icy roads and snow. You also have to face the cold temperatures. When you are traveling with your family, you need to make sure your car is in good shape. The last thing you want is to have an accident because your vehicle is not up to par. Getting stranded in an isolated area during a deep freeze isn’t high on your list either. Take 3 winter car maintenance tips to keep your family safe when the cold weather is here to stay.
Take a close look at your tires
A good set of tires is a must in the winter. You wouldn’t accept bare tires in good weather. Don’t accept low standards in the winter. If you are not sure about the condition of your tires, stop in at your auto repair shop to have them inspected. A reputable auto technician will be able to point you in the right direction. If you have a four-wheel-drive vehicle, all-season tires should be sufficient. Plan on getting a new set by the time you hit 50,000 miles. If you have rough driving conditions on a daily basis, you may need a new set as early as 25,000 miles. Snow tires are your best bet if you do not have a four-wheel drive and you have high amounts of frozen precipitation in your area. Swap out your regular tires for snow tires when the temperatures are getting close to 30 degrees so you’ll be prepared for sudden changes in weather. Check your air pressure regularly. Keep a tire gauge in the glove compartment.
Check your fluid levels
You have several important fluids in your car that should be topped off at all times. They are especially important in the winter. Check your oil, anti-freeze, and windshield wiper fluid on a regular basis. Pay attention to warning indicators on your dashboard. They will usually give you a heads up if anything is running low. If you see a check engine indicator, don’t ignore it. It could be tied in with one of your fluid levels or something more serious. Regardless, low anti-freeze or oil levels could damage your engine. It’s easy to make sure your essential fluids are at the recommended level. As an added precaution, always put bottles of oil, anti-freeze, and windshield wiper fluid in the trunk of your car. If you run out, you’ll be ready. You’ll also be prepared for a sudden leak. That bottle of oil or anti-freeze could give you a safety net, helping you to make it to the auto repair shop before extensive damage occurs. As an added note, there is one other fluid you should be monitoring closely in the winter. Make sure your gas tank is full. Don’t push your luck by letting the gauge drop close to empty. If you are stuck in the snow, you want enough gas to keep your car and heat running.
Pay attention to your battery
Your battery is your car’s powerhouse. If it quits in the winter, you will be stuck. Being stranded in a parking garage or on the side of the road is not pleasant when it’s freezing outside. You won’t have any heat to help you get by either. Do yourself a favor. Make sure your battery is in good shape. It should be exchanged every five years or so. You also need to give your battery some TLC in the winter. If possible, keep your car in a heated garage to ward off the chill. If your car is outside, it is going to lose strength. Start your car at least five minutes before you have to leave to allow your battery to restore power. Take a look at the battery gauge regularly to make sure it is at full power. While you are checking your battery, this is a good time to take care of the interior of your vehicle. A cabin filter can help you to improve air quality. It will trap pollutants and dust that accumulate inside your vehicle, helping you to breathe easier when you can’t keep the windows open.
Whether you have a new car or an older model, maintenance can help you to extend the life of your vehicle. Go the extra mile in the winter to make sure your car is well-maintained for the sake of your entire family. You can take care of many recommendations on your own. When in doubt, see your auto technician to give you peace of mind.