Winter Is Coming—Is Your Car Ready?

November 2, 2021 4:03 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Autumn’s changing leaves mean that the holidays and winter are right around the corner. The days will start getting shorter, and temperatures will steadily fall. Depending on where in the country you live, this can be a big transition.

Performing preventative car maintenance is always a good idea—and that especially rings true before winter. It’s better to have your vehicle inspected now so that small issues can be caught and fixed before they become bigger ones. Getting stranded in frigid temperatures is much worse than having your car break down on a warm summer day.

Here are some car maintenance tips to prepare for winter.

Check your fluid levels

The American Automobile Association (AAA) recommends that you check your engine coolant, brake fluid and transmission fluid before winter weather sets in. All three of these fluids may have become less effective over the summer if your car was parked outside in 90+°F temperatures for extended periods of time. You should also remember to change your oil and check your windshield wiper fluid and antifreeze before winter arrives.

Check your tires

Your tires and their air pressure are especially susceptible to temperature changes. They can lose their pressure during cold temperatures, and this can obviously be troublesome if there’s snow and ice on the road. Additionally, look at the treads on your car’s tires. If your tires are bald or the tread wear line is showing, you could consider replacing them. You can use the penny test if you’re not sure. Take a penny, and insert it into your tire’s treads upside down. If you can see the top of Abraham Lincoln’s head, you need new tires.

Check your car’s battery

You’ll specifically want to check your car’s battery capacity since cold weather can reduce a vehicle’s battery capacity. But don’t just check the battery itself—look at all of its accompanying components, i.e., the cables, the terminals and the battery’s fluid level. You’re looking for damage or corrosion to the wires, and you should make sure the terminals fit tightly when they’re connected. Your mechanic can check your battery’s fluid; having him or her do this before winter would be ideal.

Check your drive belts

Your car’s drive belts get a lot of use, so they’re subjected to a great deal of wear and tear. This means you should check them for any vulnerabilities, breaks or cracks. When checking them, focus your inspection on the underside of the belt. If your car uses a serpentine belt, its wear might not be visible, so you should have it replaced every 60,000 miles.

Check the air filter

There’s a simple test you can use to check your car’s air filter. Take out the filter, and hold it up to a 60-watt light bulb. If you can see light through most of the filter, then it’s good to go. If you can’t see light through most of it, then this means it’s dirty and needs to be replaced.

Call to have your car inspected today

While there are some car maintenance tasks that you can do yourself, some require the help of a mechanic. For those tasks, call us at Gabriel’s Automotive & Towing. We can help you get your car ready to go this winter, so you and your family can travel safely and reliably.

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