Now is the time to prepare your car for winter!
Preparing for winter is something us New Englanders have to plan for, especially with the dreadful winters we have had in recent years. The last thing any driver needs is to be left stranded on the side of the road in the harsh, inclimate weather. Setting aside an hour or two to have your vehicle checked can give you a little peace of mind and help you avoid the incidence of having a breakdown in severe weather.
Here are some tips that we recommend for winterizing your vehicle.
1. If you’re due for a tune-up, have it done before winter is in full swing. The cold weather can magnify existing issues such as hard starts, pings, or rough idles.
2. Have the brakes checked, and replaced if needed. This is the most important safety item on your vehicle!
3. Have the exhaust system checked for any leaks, which are particularly dangerous in the cold weather when driving with closed windows.
4. Check the tire tread depth and tire pressure. I highly recommend switching to a winter wheel/tire setup and checking your tire pressure weekly.
5. Make sure heaters, defrosters, and wipers are functioning and washer fluid is filled. Generally, wipers should be changed every 6-12 months.
6. Have the battery and charging system checked to ensure optimum performance. Cold weather is hard on batteries!
7. Clean, flush, and put in new anti-freeze. As a general rule of thumb, it is recommended to do this every 2 years.
8. Change your oil and filters at regular intervals!! While you’re changing the oil, have your technician check the fuel, air, and transmission filters.
9. Take a look to ensure all exterior and interior lights are working and properly aimed.
It is recommended that you keep at least half a tank of gas, at all times, and keep an emergency kit (extra clothes, jumper cables, ice scraper, flares, flashlight, blanket, etc) in their car, in case of a breakdown! It is better to be safe than sorry!