Checking your car regularly is important to keep it functioning correctly. As the weather gets warmer and colder, it acts as a reminder for you to do some work on your car. Since both hot and cold affect your car differently, here are the three things you should do for the winter weather.
Get a check-up
Taking a trip to the mechanic is a great first step. A professional inspection will go over the basics. The first step is checking your oil. When the weather cools down, the oil will thicken and make it harder to lubricate your engine properly.
The other important fluid to check for cold weather is the antifreeze. If the mixture isn’t right, the water might freeze in your radiator, causing some serious damage.
Next, your belts and hoses will be checked. Since winter is hard on these parts, it is important to make sure they are in good enough condition to last the winter.
Lastly, it is important to verify that your tires are ready for winter with enough air pressure and tread. Both play an important part of having good traction on wet and icy roads.
Test basic functions
Two things that anyone can do, regardless of car expertise, are to check your wiper blades and four-wheel drive. Finding out that either one of these doesn’t work while in a storm can create a dangerous situation.
Make sure your blades completely clear your windshield. If they don’t, change them out for new ones that can do the job.
Checking your four-wheel drive is also important to do before you are in a storm. Remind yourself and the other drivers in your home how to turn it on and off. Make sure it engages and disengages smoothly. If there are any problems, get it fixed before you need it in a storm.
Prepare for the worst
No matter how much you check and get maintenance done, there is still a possibility that you will end up in an emergency. Stocking your car with some essentials can really help you out if it happens. To start, always make sure you have the tools necessary to change a flat tire, including a spare. Carry other essentials such as a flashlight and external charger for your phone, in case you need them.
Other things that are good to have in your trunk are water bottles, snacks, a blanket, ice scraper, and windshield washer fluid. During the winter, you can also add chains for your tires, just in case you need them for traction.
Depending on where you live, you might not need to complete every step on this list. However, if you live in an area where it does get freezing, it’s important to prepare every year. Keep a list of the work you do so you can refer to it the next year. If you don’t live in an area where it gets cold, do this work before you head to a colder climate for the holidays.