Noticing any frost on your windows yet? The hardest season for your vehicle is just around the corner. Winter takes its toll on many drivers, particularly if you haven’t taken the time to do some basic maintenance on your vehicle.
Here’s what you need to know to reduce your risk of getting into an accident in slippery conditions and to help you get more life out of your vehicle.
1. Check Your Tires. First, you’ll need to check the tread-wear on your tires. Take a penny and place it heads up in between your tread. If you can see President Lincoln’s hair, you need new tires. You’ll also need to check your tire pressure to make sure it’s at the optimum level for your particular vehicle. If you live in an area with chronically bad winter weather, you may want to consider purchasing snow tires for the winter season.
2. Replace Your Windshield Wipers. This is one thing that many car owners miss, and it can have serious consequences. The elements are hard on your wipers, and ideally they should be changed twice a year, in spring and fall. Don’t forget to change the wiper on your back window if you have one!
3. Change Your Oil. As the weather cools down, you’ll need to make sure you’re using the right viscosity of oil. If you change your own oil, check your owner’s manual to make sure you’re using the recommended oil. If you’re having it done for you, just ask the shop to provide you with oil that’s right for winter.
4. Check Your Battery. The last thing you need when it’s cold is to end up stranded somewhere. Take your battery to a shop and have it checked to make sure it’s got enough power to get you through winter. If you’re getting your oil changed, many shops will even throw in a battery check for free.
5. Check Your Antifreeze. After the long, hot summer season, you’ll also need to make sure you’ve got the right levels of water and antifreeze in your car. The ideal mix is 50/50. It’s best to have the professionals take care of this one for you, unless you have experience in checking your antifreeze.
These five simple steps will help keep your car running smoothly all winter and reduce the risk of getting into an accident or needing a tow.
You're welcome to contact us with your questions about vehicle insurance and other coverage as well to help prepare you even more for the harsh weather around the corner.