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.
- Check your tire pressure monthly (regardless of the season!). Don’t know how? Read your car’s manual or ask your auto technician. But don’t check tire pressure if the temperature is below freezing, says the Car Coach and expert mechanic, Lauren Fix. 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.
- Check your tire tread. Tire tread controls the grip or friction between your car and the road – without it, you can slide around and easily end up in the ditch (or worse – banged into another car), says Aymee Ruiz, a spokesperson with AAA. Ask your auto technician about your tires and evaluate the tread. Consider a different set of tires, specifically snow tires, for winter.
- Keep operational fluids at a full level (gas, oil, antifreeze, windshield fluid, etc.), says Lauren Fix. 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.
- Your battery needs to be fully charged for cold-weather starts. 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. In winter, a dead battery can lead to a serious situation.
- 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.
- 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.