It is inevitable, we WILL have snow and ice covered roads here in the Northeast in the not too distant future. This morning’s cold should have been an eye opener to, ”hey, winter is coming”.
Most of us depend on our vehicle to get us to and from work or get the kids to their sports and dancing and all, so having a vehicle not break down during the cold weather is important. There are a few low cost/no cost things that can be done before the storms hit to help your vehicle get you home safely.
I have been a car guy for as long as I can remember. I have owned muscle cars, economy cars and family cars. Front wheel, rear wheel and 4 wheel-drive vehicles. They all can benefit from a few easy steps.
1) Check your air pressure. The recommended air pressure for tires is usually stamped on a sticker on the driver’s door latch pillar or in the glove box. The pressure stamped on the tire is not necessarily the pressure for your car but a max load pressure. The pressures should also be listed in your manual. Also make sure the tires themselves are in good condition with plenty of tread left.
2) Check your antifreeze to make sure it is good to the low temperature usually associated with your area. There is a tool called a hydrometer sold at local chain stores to check this or have a garage do it. Trust me you do not want your engine to freeze. Also check for leaks. Make sure to mix the antifreeze is mixed with water. Do not use straight antifreeze.
3) Give your vehicle a good bath and a good coating of wax before it gets too cold to protect it from the elements. Going to a car wash is OK, but opt out on the hot wax part of it. Do yourself a favor and buy a good wax and do it yourself. The current waxes are very good and easy to apply. Also make sure on the inside you have good mats to keep the snow and ice off the carpets.
4) Check your oil. If you have not had an oil change in a while it might be a good idea to get one. Oil is the life blood of an engine
5) Window washer fluid is a huge must-have, especially if you drive the highways. I like to use the ice melt versions to eliminate a bit of scraping.
6) On the scraping subject, find the snow brush and scrapers now. My wife had to hunt the other morning for hers and seeing I am responsible for the cars guess who was to blame?
7) Windshield wiper blades should be changed if it has been a while. I usually go with the winter wiper blades that have extra rubber on them to cover the moving parts.
A little TLC will go a long way in keeping your car healthy this winter and the low cost of these simple steps could prevent some big expenses in the future.
Disclaimer: These are solely my thoughts and my thoughts only. They are meant to inform and help. I am not a car mechanic and do not claim to be one.