It’s important that you take care of your car in October before the temperatures drop so you can avoid being caught out in the cold and stuck with an expensive emergency repair bill.
You don’t want to have your car break down in the middle of the cold winter weather. Winter makes the problems your car is having, such as hard starts and sluggish performance, that much worse. Having the car checked at the repair shop or doing all the maintenance yourself is a small investment you can make now to avoid a larger bill should your car break down during extreme weather.
The following is your checklist that can help you get your car ready for the cold weather and get peace of mind.
For the Heating, Wipers, and Lights
Ensure that your heaters, defrosters and wipers are all working correctly
Consider purchasing winter wiper blades and always use cold-weather washer fluid.
Remember that you should replace the wiper blades on your car at least once every six months.
Make sure that all the lights in and on your car work properly and are pointed in the right direction
For the Tires and Brakes
Check your tires to make sure that the tire tread depth and the tire pressure is right, even with your spare tire. If where you live is frequently hit by snow and ice then think about picking up specialized tires designed for those conditions.
Check the tire pressure at least once a week during winter
Get your brakes checked as the brakes are the single most important safety feature your car has.
For the Gas, Oil and Filters
Keep your gas tanked filled up at least half way during winter as this prevents moisture from building up in the gas lines and freezing
Make sure that you change the oil and filter regularly. Dirty oil can be a real troublemaker during the winter. If you live in a particularly cold climate then you should consider switching to “winter weight” oil. Make sure that all the filters (fuel, air, and transmission) are checked at the same time
System Checks to do – Charging, Cooling and Exhaust
Get the battery and charging system checked because batteries are hit harder by cold weather.
Have the cooling system cleaned and flushed and put new antifreeze in. This is something that you should do at least once every two years.
Get the exhaust system checked out to make sure you don’t have a carbon monoxide leak. These are bad enough as they are but are made worse in winter when everyone keeps the windows closed.
Essentials You Need to Pack
Always take an ice scraper and snow brush with you when you travel and keep them close
Put together an emergency kit that includes jumper cables, a flashlight, blankets, some spare clothes, bottled water, non-perishable food and, last but not least, a first aid that contains any medication you and your family can’t be without.