Is Your Car Ready for Winter?
Depending on the part of the country you live in, preparing for winter can take on different meanings. If you live in south Florida or southern California, winter is a time when you may have to break out the long-sleeved shirts and hoodies on a cold day. But, for those of us in the Midwest, our winters are completely different. We’re prone to hard, cold and snowy winters which means, we often have to take steps to “winterize” just about everything we own. While we might not want to believe that winter is just around the corner, it’s important to be ready, for when bad weather hits. Here’s a few friendly winter reminders.
- Consult your owner’s manual. Each vehicle has specific guidelines outlined by its manufacturer to ensure top performance is maintained. Identifying and taking these steps will put you well on your way to having a winter-ready vehicle.
- Take note of powertrain type of issues. While most things will be covered in your owner’s manual, the following should be on your list:
- Get all your air filters cleaned so that air flow is not restricted to critical engine parts.
- Get your oil changed if it needs it and be sure to use engine oil designed for winter use, when possible.
- Check to make sure your engine coolant is the proper type and in the proper coolant/water ratio.
- Inspect your battery system for potential problems (e.g., cracks in the cables, corrosion in terminals, fluid and charge levels, etc.).
- Check out critical mechanical items. The following are things to consider that are mechanical in nature:
- Check to make sure your wiper system is working properly (e.g., wiper blades, fluid level and spraying, etc.).
- Ensure your tire air pressure is at the proper level. Your tires may lose air pressure in colder weather.
- Inspect the tread on your tires and install new or snow tires if needed.
- Be sure your car heater and defroster is working properly.
In addition to these three steps, it is a good idea to have a game plan should you get trapped in winter weather. For example, keep a shovel, snow scraper, and emergency kit in your car that possibly includes a blanket, flashlight, gloves, hat, hand warmers, snacks and more. Also, don’t forget to develop a family emergency plan to know what to do if someone is stranded, keep your car filled with gas and your phone charged when out on the road.
Taking these proactive steps to ensure you (and your car) are as well prepared as possible for the winter elements can save you time, money, and heartache down the road. If you are looking for a new car or winter toy to get you through the winter, contact a loan officer near you. Rates are as low as 1.99% APR*, right now! Learn more.