No one wants to talk about winter, but it’s October and it’s snowing North of the Mason Dixon line so here we go….
Here are nine fine winter car care tips – after all, October is National Car Care month.
- Check your tire pressure monthly (regardless of the season!). Don’t know how? Read your car’s manual or ask your auto technician.
- Do not check tire pressure if the temperature is below freezing, says the Car Coach and expert mechanic, Lauren Fix. Why? Humidity can cause the air to freeze in the valve stem in the tire which will not allow you to add any additional air. Instead the air will leak out. Have a professional check the pressure for you.
- Tire tread controls the grip or friction between your car and the road – without it you can slide around and easily end up in the ditch (or worse – banged into another car), says Aymee Ruiz, a spokesperson with AAA. Ask your auto technician about your tires and evaluate the tread.
- Consider a different set of tires, specifically snow tires, for winter.
- Keep operational fluids at a full level (gas, oil, antifreeze, windshield fluid, etc.), says Lauren Fix. Why? Cold temps may cause some parts to overcompensate and work harder than usual – they’ll need the extra fluids to help maintain their usual exertion levels.
- Your battery needs to be fully charged for cold-weather starts.
- If you haven’t replaced your battery in at least five years, have it checked by a professional – it may need to be changed, says Fix.
- Add winter weather items to your car’s emergency kit (snow scraper, shovel, sand, extra antifreeze, jumper cables, tow rope, etc.) – they’ll come in handy if you run into car trouble.
- Follow your regular car maintenance schedule to keep an eye out for potential problems. Ask your auto technician about specific things to watch out for regarding your car.
Stay warm and drive carefully –