Winter is coming. Some people are excited about sweaters and snow. Others just want to hibernate until March. Cars, they’re the hibernating type. Without special care, cold weather can negatively affect machine mechanics, and just as you take steps to winterize your home, and your lawn, so, too, should you prepare your vehicle for the arctic (okay, maybe not quite arctic) conditions ahead.
Have your oil changed.
Check your car’s owner’s manual to determine the correct intervals and adhere to this schedule. Just purchased a new car? Consult with your Chantilly VA lube technician about which oil is best for different climates and temperatures. When the weather gets cold, motor oil thickens, and when motor oil thickens, it can’t do its job as well.
Replace your windshield wiper blades.
It could be tomorrow or Saturday, or January or March, but chances are at some point this winter, snow will begin falling from the sky. Me personally, when that happens, I stay inside as much as possible. But work beckons and kids need to be fed. It often can’t be avoided. So in the event that you have to venture out behind the wheel, it’s important that you’re able to see. Windshield wiper blades typically last about a year; December is a great time to change them, before the season’s worst comes to northern Virginia.
Check your battery.
Check posts and connections to make sure they’re corrosion-free; in fact, if your battery is more than three years, we recommend a visit to Chantilly VA’s premier auto center so that one of our certified auto repair technicians can check your battery’s ability to hold a charge. Be proactive. Don’t get caught out in the cold with a dead battery.
Check belts and hoses, too.
While you’re here, ask Advanced Automotive to check your car’s belts and hoses for wear and tear. Extreme cold temperatures can do significant damage to these, and they should be inspected regularly, replaced as needed.
Check your tire pressure.
A general rule of thumb: Your tires lose air pressure at a rate of one pound per square inch whenever the temperature drops by 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Properly inflated tires are the best way to ensure maximum traction; as traction is harder to maintain in wet, icy conditions, you’d be wise to stack the cards in your favor.
Keep an emergency kit handy.
Better safe than sorry. Pick up a waterproof bag (from wherever waterproof bags are sold) and stuff it with a blanket, an extra set of dry clothes, a flashlight, flares, jumper cables, tire chains, a gauge, a first aid kit, and maybe even water and food. Keep this bag in your trunk for use in the event of an emergency. You’ll be glad you did.
You’ll do everything you can to ensure it doesn’t, but if your vehicle succumbs to the elements, it pays to be prepared. If you’re experiencing an automotive emergency, call 911.