Fall is officially in full swing, with winter following close behind. As the weather gets cooler and the days get shorter, it’s important that you have a reliable vehicle to get you where you need to go, safely. Here are some tips to keep your car in top shape during the fall and winter months.
Check the engine.
Namely, the levels of some important liquids that help your engine run smoothly. Make sure the antifreeze and coolant are at acceptable levels (refer to your owner’s manual for how to check them). Swap out your regular windshield wiper fluid for a winter-specific one that won’t freeze when it makes contact with your windshield.
Also, take a look at your battery. Extremely cold temperatures can reduce a car battery’s life by up to 50%. Get yours tested by a mechanic, especially if you have an older car.
Use winter oil.
As a rule, the colder the weather, the thinner your oil should be. The first number in an oil specification refers to its viscosity, for example, 5W-30 would be a better winter oil than 10W-30. Refer to your owner’s manual for vehicle specific recommendations.
Check tire pressure and tread depth.
Good tires can mean the difference between a safe drive and a weather-related accident. When there’s ice on the road and snow in the sky, you want to ensure you’re driving on a safe set of tires. Check your tire pressure using a gauge and fill your tires with air if necessary.
A simple way to check the tread on your tires is with a penny. Place the coin, with the top of Abraham Lincoln’s head pointing toward the tire, in the tread. If you can see all of the president’s head, you should replace your tires before the weather gets bad. Don’t forget to check your spare, too!
You may also want to consider installing winter tires if you deal with snow and ice on a daily basis during the winter months.
Have an emergency kit.
If you don’t already have one in your car, now is the time to pack an emergency kit. Just a few basics can keep you comfortable if you get stuck in a snowbank or stranded without a working spare. Some of the things you should include in your emergency kit are: flares, blankets and warm gloves, food, water, flashlight, an ice scraper and extra coolant and windshield washer fluid.
Taking some time to ensure your car is winter-ready could save you a lot of headaches once the weather turns cold.
For nearly 25 years Burt Brothers Tire and Service has provided the most reliable tires and auto repair throughout Utah. We only employ highly qualified mechanics, and our technicians are ASE-certified. For more information visit http://burtbrothers.com or visit one of our eight Salt Lake area locations.