6 Winter Car Care Tips
Anyone in the northern part of the country knows that winter can do a number on your car. Stay ahead of the snow with these six quick tips for keeping your car ready for winter.
1. Check your tire pressure monthly (regardless of the season!). Don't know how? Read your car's manual or ask your auto technician.
WHN Expert Tip - Below Freezing? NO!!!!
Do not check tire pressure if the temperature is below freezing, Lauren Fix, the Car Coach. Why? Humidity can cause the air to freeze in the valve stem in the tire, which will not allow you to add any additional air. Instead the air will leak out. Have a professional check the pressure for you.
2. Tire tread controls the grip or friction between your car and the road. Worn tread can let your car slide around, which can end yout in the ditch (or worse - banged into another car), says Aymee Ruiz, a spokesperson with American Automobile Association (AAA). Have your auto technician evaluate the tread before winter.
WHN Tip: Snow Tires
Consider a different set of tires, specifically snow tires, for winter.
3. Keep operational fluids at a full level (gas, oil, antifreeze, windshield fluid, etc.), says Lauren Fix, the Car Coach. Why? Cold temps may cause some parts to overcompensate and work harder than usual – they'll need the extra fluids to help maintain their usual exertion levels.
4. Check your battery. It needs to be fully charged for cold-weather starts.
WHN Tip: Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes
If you haven't replaced your battery in at least five years, have it checked by a professional. It may need to be changed, says Lauren Fix, the Car Coach. In winter, a dead battery can lead to a serious situation.
5. Add winter weather items to your car's emergency kit (snow scraper, shovel, sand, extra antifreeze, jumper cables, tow rope, etc.). They'll come in handy if you run into car trouble.
WHN Tip: Go to Be Prepared: What to Carry in Your Car for a full list.
6. Follow your regular car maintenance schedule to keep an eye out for potential problems. Ask your auto technician about specific things to watch out for regarding your car.
General6 Winter Car Care Tips