With winter just around the corner, now is a good time to make sure your car is ready. Taking a few simple steps today can save you some stress when the harsh weather hits.
Here are 5 proactive steps recommended by the Car Care Council to prepare your car for winter driving.
- Clean the battery Use an old toothbrush to scrub your terminals and cable connections with a solution of 1 tablespoon of baking soda mixed in 1 cup of water. This will keep you connections corrosion-free. Be sure to tighten the cables afterward. Cold weather is tough on batteries, so it’s a good idea to check the battery and charging system, too. Because batteries don’t always give warning signs before they fail, it is advisable to replace batteries that are more than three years old. For more details check out Wiki-how at http://www.wikihow.com/Clean-Corroded-Car-Battery-Terminals
- Check that the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system are working properly. This includes the heater, defroster and wiper blades. Heating and cooling performance is critical. both for interior comfort and for safety reasons, such as defrosting. Fall is also a good time to check your air filters, too, including you cabin filter, as you’ll likely be using the fan more to push warm air. Wiper blades that are torn, cracked or don’t properly clean your windshield should be replaced. As a rule of thumb, wiper blades should be replaced every six months. When changing the blades, remember to check the fluid level in the windshield washer reservoir.
- Check the tires, both for proper pressure and tread depth. Uneven wear could mean you need a wheel alignment. Look them over carefully for any bulges or bald spots. During the winter months tire pressure should be checked weekly because they lose pressure when temperatures drop.
- Check the brake system, including brake linings, rotors and drums. Brakes should be checked often as they are critical to vehicle safety, particularly during the winter when driving on icy or snow-covered roads.
- Check out the free personalized schedule and email reminder service offered by the Car Care Council. It’s a simple way to help you take better care of your vehicle throughout the year. It is an easy-to-use resource designed to help you drive smart, save money and make informed decisions. Just follow the link. http://www.carcare.org/car-care-service-schedules/custom-service-schedule/
Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council reminds us that, “Getting your vehicle ready for winter while temperatures are still mild is a proactive approach to preventive maintenance that helps ensure safety, reliability and fewer unexpected repairs when severe winter weather strikes.”
Freedom Insurance cares about your safety. Taking these simple steps today could prevent a cold-weather breakdown this winter! We’d love to hear your tips, too.