As you transition from summer to winter driving, your car needs to be ready as well. Winter road conditions require your heater to be working well, brakes need to be in top form and your alignment to be correct, among other things.
The next time you take your car in for its regular oil change and other services, make sure your mechanic makes your car winter-ready as well. Here are things you need to have done on your vehicle to ensure it is in its best condition for whatever the winter weather does to the roads.
Have the Lights Inspected
Your fog, parking, brake and other lights will need to be inspected to ensure they are not only in good working condition, but also have the best visibility. Your mechanic can readjust your headlights for maximum brightness and road coverage so you can see as much as possible on the road even during a heavy snowstorm. If your lights are foggy or the covers are scratched, your mechanic may recommend replacing or cleaning them for better visibility.
Have the Heater/Coolant Inspected
Not only do you need coolant in the winter to allow your heater to work effectively, but you should also switch to a winter-ready variety of coolant so your engine doesn't freeze up as the temperatures drop. It's a good idea to have your mechanic check all your fluids while paying special attention to coolant levels when they check your heater for winter driving.
Signs your heater may be failing include blowing cold or lukewarm air or the fan not working at all. Your mechanic will inspect your heating system to make sure it's operating correctly so you can warm your car up and keep it from frosting while on the road.
Place an Emergency Kit in Your Car
In the event you find yourself off the road or unable to continue driving due to foul weather conditions, you want to be prepared to stay comfortable and safe. Prepare an emergency kit for your car that includes the following:
• Kitty litter for tire traction
• Fresh water
• Non-perishable foods (granola bars, trail mix)
• Flashlight with batteries
• First aid kit
If your car breaks down on the road for any reason, call your insurance company or the police for assistance. Stay in your vehicle until help arrives unless it is unsafe to do so. Your car can be towed to your mechanic for repairs.
Have Tires/Alignment Checked
Your tires should be checked to make sure they have ample tread for traveling on icy or snowy roads. If your car is pulling to one side or your steering wheel shakes when you drive, then your alignment may need to be adjusted for greater driver control. Have your mechanic check your tire pressure levels, as cold weather can cause your tires to lose pressure.
It may be wise to invest in winter tires. Your mechanic can show you tires available for your vehicle for optimum road control and traction on icy or slick roads.
Change Your Windshield Wipers
Your windshield wipers should be able to whisk away moisture and snowfall from your windows quickly without leaving streaks behind. If you haven't had your wipers replaced recently, have your mechanic replace them for you while they check your windshield wiper fluid.
With a little bit of preparation, your car should be ready for winter driving. Don't wait until the snow begins to fall to have your car inspected for safe winter driving. Our team of expert mechanics at Greg's Garage are able to help you get your car winter-ready. Call us today to set up an appointment to have your vehicle inspected and serviced so you can feel more confident on winter roads.