As colder days are quickly upon us, there are many ways to make sure your vehicle is in tip-top shape. Check out these tips to winterize your vehicle.
Check your battery
Colder temps make your battery work a little harder during those early-morning commutes. Most auto parts stores provide free battery checks if you visit them during this time of the year.
Change your wiper blades
Did you know wiper blades are only good for a year? Upgrading to a heavy-duty version during the winter months is a great way to deter freezing ice.
Check your belts and hoses
When colder temps become the norm, it can significantly weaken your belts and hoses. Get a head start on preparing by checking your belts/hoses and replacing them if needed.
Change your tires
According to the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association, if temps average 32 degrees or below during the winter months where you live, switch out to winter tires. These tires grip the road and provide better traction in snowy and icy conditions.
Maintain tire pressure
For every ten-degree temperature drop, your tires lose 10 PSI (pounds per square inch). Don’t wait for your pressure light to come on – check the pressure proactively or once a week. The recommended pressure is generally between 30 and 35, but consult your vehicle’s manual for details.
Keep washer fluid full
Snowstorms can significantly increase your use of washer fluid. Checking these levels about once a week is recommended to ensure you’re running at the right level.
Pack a winter safety kit
Preparing a safety kit could save your life (or improve your life) if you’re stranded on the side of the road. Suggested items:
- First Aid Kit
- Pack of matches
- Flashlight and new batteries
- Ice scraper
- Extra sweatshirts, pants, shoes & socks
- Bottles of water
- Nonperishable food items
- Jumper cables
- Cell phone charger
- Sandbag and a shovel
- Extra Engine Oil & Antifreeze
- ALWAYS keep the gas tank at least half-full. Keeping a fuller gas tank is more important in the winter due to the risk of being stranded or breaking down.
Be prepared for Winter emergencies with these safety tips:
- Do not abandon your car for risk of losing sight of it
- Do not keep your car running for long periods. Instead, turn it on long enough to stay warm, and then turn it off again to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning
- Put your dome lights on to attract attention
Winterizing your vehicle is an important process as the temps get colder. Not only will you extend the life of your vehicle, you will save money in the long run.