Not everyone can be a mechanic. We humans that do not have wrenches attached to our hands tend to neglect proper vehicle maintenance schedules, and get lost when it comes to preparing for the cold seasons. You don’t have to victimize yourself in this way! Just get educated about a few simple things you can do to keep your vehicle in good working condition. The money you will save on repairs is more than worth the time you will spend learning how to properly care for your car. Here are a few things, concerning colder weather, that you should always remember when attempting to prepare your vehicle and yourself for winter.
Check that your coolant is properly filled
Before the weather begins getting below freezing, you need to make sure that you have the proper mixture of antifreeze and water in your vehicle’s coolant system. You cannot just put water from the hose in your car’s coolant system. It will rust out the system. It could also freeze over the course of a cold night. This would most likely cause some pretty bad damage to the coolant system and possibly to your engine. Don’t neglect this step.
Check your oil level and color
You’ll want to make sure that your oil is clean and the proper viscosity for your engine before it begins getting colder. Really, it’s in your best interest to always maintain proper oil care for your engine’s sake. Oil is like your vehicle’s blood. It’s vital to the life of your engine.
Check that your vehicle’s battery is functioning properly
This is a really easy step of preparation. Pretty much all of the major auto parts stores around the country will check the output of your car battery for free. All you have to do is ask. They can also plug their computer up to your vehicle’s computer to make sure there aren’t any underlying malfunctions in the system.
Check your tire quality and pressure
You’ll want to make sure your tires are properly inflated for slushy, snowy, or icy conditions. Check your vehicle’s manual for specific pressure values. You should check the tread on the tires, as well. There should be at least an inch of tread on your tires to provide the proper traction.
Check your wiper fluid and blades
When you’re getting your oil changed the next time, ask the attendant to check the quality of your wiper blades as well. Most of the time this service is included with the oil change, but sometimes people need a little reminder to do their job.
Build yourself an emergency kit
You should always keep at least a basic emergency kit in your vehicle, but more importantly, you should have one for the winter. Here is a small list of the basics for your kit:
- Basic First Aid Kit
- Bag of Litter or Sand
- Small Shovel
- Ice Scraper and/or Brush
- Extra Coolant
- Extra Layers of Clothing
Make sure you have a few of these items, and you should be just fine!