Winter is a beautiful time of year (when you're indoors enjoying your favorite hot beverage). But winter also brings with it many dangers for those traveling on the road. It’s amazing how many people spend time checking out the weather before winter travelling without considering the state of their vehicle before heading out into the storm. As with most things in life – better a little caution than a great regret. Here are some tips and tricks to help keep you safe this winter…assuming you haven't already done so.
- Check the weather. Hey, we didn't say it was a bad thing. We just think the state of your vehicle should be considered as well. Know what you’re getting into.
- Check the wipers both front and back. A good rule of thumb is to replace them every six months. But for those of us who don't have an internal wiper replacement reminder it's best replace them when they start to squeak, chatter, or streak under normal rainy conditions.
- Top off the fluids. Make sure you have the right fluids in your car starting with windshield wiper fluid. Try to get one that won't freeze, especially during snowy conditions. Make sure all the rest of the fluids are topped off: brake fluid, transmission fluid, oil, transfer case fluid (if applicable), radiator antifreeze, etc.
- Check your belts and hoses. This can include the timing belt, serpentine belt, radiator hoses, brake lines, coolant and heater hoses. Look for cracking, fraying, or disintegration occurring to any of the belts or hoses. If you have no clue where any of these things are bring your car in. We’ll help you not only identify where these things are, but what to look for.
- Get your battery tested. Nothing's worse than to get into a car on a freezing day with a dead battery. If you do not know how old your battery is or need help determining its health, we are happy to help.
- Kick the tires. Make sure your tires have adequate tread and air pressure for driving conditions. Believe it or not, different air pressures are more helpful in different climate conditions. Consult your owner's manual for the right pressure for your car for winter conditions. It'll not only help you stay safe, but properly inflated tires can also save you money in gas mileage.
- Carry chains, an ice scraper/snow brush, and an emergency kit. You may not have used many of these things in a while, if ever. But, they are the things you do not want to be without when you need them. Some people even include bottled water, a small amount of food, blankets, a coat, and gloves as part of their emergency kit. It's really up to you. The most important thing is to be prepared for the worst.
- Get the heater and defroster checked. If there were ever two things in the car we took for granted it's the heater and defroster. These may seem to be working fine, but it may not be working to the best of its ability. The effectiveness of these two items will vary from make and model, but as with everything else described in the previous six areas, they are crucial when dealing with winter conditions.
If you don't feel comfortable taking on any of these areas on your own we understand. It can not only seem complicated, it can be downright confusing. Let any of the service centers experts in the Olympia Auto Mall car dealerships in Tacoma,WA help you get your car or truck in tiptop shape for winter.
The Olympia Automall – Washington’s Largest!!!