Dropping temperatures can impact car performance in many ways. From starting problems, to dealing with dropping tire pressure, or even windshield wiper trouble – there are a host of winter-specific issues that can leave you frustrated.
Not to mention, you could end up with a massive dent in your budget.
The good news is you can avoid most of these issues by carrying out simple maintenance work on your car before winter sets in completely. Here are our top maintenance tips to get your car winter ready this season:
Schedule a Tune-up
One of the most important steps in getting your car winter ready is to have it serviced or tuned-up before winter sets in. A tune-up can prevent several common car troubles owners face; like rough idling, hard starts, and sluggish car performance.
Now, we know it doesn’t get that cold in the Phoenix area, but if you drive up to Flagstaff in the winter or even further north into colder states your car needs to be prepared.
Speak to your professional mechanic or auto repair service center about the tune-up and ask them about important preventive maintenance tips to keep your car in good running condition all through winter.
Check Your Tires
Tire pressure in cold weather can drop as the temperature drops. Here’s what happens:
- The pressure drop could be as much as one psi per 10 degrees Fahrenheit drop in outside temperature.
- Winter nights are much colder, so the pressure drop could be substantial by the time morning comes around.
- The best way to offset this issue is by routinely checking your tire pressure (at least once a month) and ensuring it is at the required psi.
Your local mechanic can help you in this regard. Or you could check the tire pressure yourself at a local gas station. In either case, the goal is to maintain consistent tire pressure. This way, you can effectively extend the life of your tires and make them winter ready.
In addition, have the depth of your tire treads checked if you are going to be driving on icy and/or wet roads. A prudent idea would be to switch to winter tires. Again, you can speak with your local mechanic or auto service center about this.
Check Your Antifreeze
Antifreeze is particularly critical during winter to prevent rust and corrosion and to maintain the fluid levels in cold weather. Upgrading your antifreeze could help your car run seamlessly even when outside temperatures fall below freezing levels.
Check Your Lights
When visibility falls, due to heavy snow or rain and particularly during icy cold winter nights, the role your car headlights and other signals play is crucial.
You need to have these in top working condition not just to see what’s ahead, but for other’s to be able to see your car approaching. So, it’s fundamental to have your headlights, brake lights, and signal lights inspected well before winter.
- You can check these lights by having someone else operating the lights in the driver seat while you check it from the outside.
- You could also check the lights in your rear-view mirror by parking in front of a reflective surface such as a store front.
- Of course, if you get a tune-up before winter, your mechanic or service center will check to make sure your lights work properly.
If any repairs or replacements are necessary, have them done immediately as it involves not only your safety but the safety of other drivers on the road.
Check Windshield Wipers
Windshield wipers are in direct contact with harsh winter elements. This can lead to extensive wear and tear. If they need replacement, have it done before the weather changes.
Remember: Always make sure the windshield is free of snow and ice before you turn on the windshield wipers to prevent them and the windshield from sustaining damage.
Additional Winter Care Preventive Maintenance Tips
- Make sure to check your battery; if you are confident about checking it yourself go ahead. If not, it is better to have it checked by a professional mechanic.
- Check the different fluid levels and top them if necessary; again, if you can do this yourself, go ahead. If not, your local mechanic can help.
- Prepare a winter emergency kit in addition to your regular emergency kit. Unpredictable weather changes have become rather common in the last few years. Being prepared is better than being caught off-guard.
Things to include in your emergency winter kit:
- Energy food (high-calorie and high-energy bars)
- Gloves, boots
- Shovel, ice scraper, and sand (for slippery or wet roads)
Winter preventive maintenance can help you avoid common car troubles and help you better deal with the driving hazards of cold weather.
If you are unsure about any of the tips discussed above, it is best to consult with your local mechanic who will be able to further advise you and help get your car ready for winter.
Winter Maintenance with Auto Experts you can Trust!
If you are worried about winter maintenance for your car, give Virginia Auto Service a call today at 602-266-0200 or schedule a visit with us online at your convenience.