Winterize Your Vehicle

By: Dave's Garage at COPilot

With cooler weather here, it is very important to prepare your vehicle for the season. If you live in a cold-weather state, or perhaps if you are planning to visit family in a colder area over the winter holidays, the following tips could save you money and even your life!

OIL CHANGE: Be sure to have your oil changed and use the correct thickness or viscosity for your vehicle with the upcoming lower temperatures in your area.

VISION: Most drivers often forget to change their windshield wiper blades on a regular basis, I admit that I am one of them. It is a good idea to install new wiper blades before the winter, especially if you live in an area where snow is common. Don’t forget to add the correct washer fluid for the temperatures as well. Regular water will freeze resulting in a cracked windshield washer reservoir.

ANTIFREEZE: Be sure to have a 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and water in your radiator. This will prevent the fluid from freezing in the cooling system resulting in possible engine damage. You can pick up an inexpensive coolant tester at your local auto parts store to test it yourself.

TIRES: As I mentioned in a previous article, it is very important to always check your tire pressure. Tire pressure can effect fuel mileage, tire wear and cause an accident. During colder weather your tire pressure will drop resulting in less traction when driving in wet, snowy or icy conditions. Snow tires or tire chains are always a good idea if you live in an area that is hilly with ice and snow.

BELTS & HOSES: Your belts and hoses deserve attention all year long. Always have your belts, hoses and fluids checked when having your oil changed. A failed belt or hose can leave you stranded on the side of the road resulting in a bad situation, especially in the winter!

BATTERY: Another item that should be checked throughout the year. Always be sure that the battery terminals are tight and free from corrosion. You can also check the water in some batteries. The safest way to be sure your battery is within specs is to take it to certified repair shop and have it tested. The last thing you will want to do when it is 20 degrees and snowing is have to find help jump starting your vehicle.

EMERGENCY KIT: An emergency kit is very important, especially during the winter. Here are a few items that are good to have in case of an emergency: Blanket, extra warm clothes, gloves, spare food and water, flashlight, jumper cables, spare tire that is properly inflated, first aid kit, gas can, ice scraper, small shovel, flares and a bag of abrasive material such as sand or kitty litter.

As always, keep your vehicle maintained and drive safe!

Dave

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