Winter provides fierce conditions that are a hazard for all kinds of vehicles. To make sure your vehicle is ready for the chilly season, winterizing is critical. It is both important to be prepared for driving on terrible, slippery roads as it is to have your vehicle in peak condition. To help, we have put together a list of to-do’s that will get your car ready for winter.
Let’s have a look.
1. Check the tires
Make sure there is enough tread and that the tire pressure is correct. If the tires are worn, get yourself a new set. Some states will require tire chains, but in most places, a set of all-weather tires will be perfect. Areas that are prone to ice, sleet, and snow can be dangerous, though; so get yourself some winter tires, which have a much better grip on pavement.
2. Check the antifreeze and cooling system
Did you know that the radiator should be refilled with new coolant (antifreeze) at least once a year? Before winter is the best time to do it, too.
Use the owner’s manual to check the proper amount of antifreeze. Also take a peek at the overflow and reserve tanks and see if the fluid levels are adequate. If you have previously filled your radiator with water only, you can do harm to your engine and cooling system because that water will freeze and create a lot of problems.
3. Test the battery
Batteries should be free of corrosion, and cables should be secure. If your battery is over 3 years old, you need to have it inspected by our team here at J.J.’s Auto Service Center.
You can test the status of your battery by turning on the headlights prior to starting the engine. If the lights get brighter when the engine turns over, schedule an appointment with the best mechanic shop in Waldorf (us!) for an electrical inspection.
4. Replace worn windshield wipers and check washer fluid
Since salt, sand, and ice is going to affect the windshield, you need functional windshield wipers. Visibility is not something you want to play around with. Get new blades immediately so you can see where you’re going!
Don’t forget about your window washer fluid, because you will be using it often in the winter. A single storm in the winter will have you using massive amounts of windshield wiper fluid; make sure the fluid reservoir is filled up. Be sure to use fluid that is formulated for wintry weather. If you’re unsure whether the fluid is the correct low temperature formula, we will make sure you get the correct washer fluid to add to the reservoir.
5. Wash your car often
That means clearing those foggy headlights for more visibility and removing all grime from the paint job. Road salt will damage the paint and metal over time. This is why many cars up north, in places such as New York and Rhode Island, experience so much rust. Also, you can add some wax to stop corrosion.
6. Check the brake pads and brake fluid
You never know when you will need to slam on your brakes, so make sure the pads are free of wear and tear. Double check brake fluid levels, too. Any worn rotors or pads should be switched out.
7. Make sure the heat and rear defroster works
Not having a heater when the weather is at its coldest will be a real bummer. Make sure you have a heater that operates well. Otherwise, your vehicle might never warm up enough to be safe to drive. And by the way, who likes driving in a freezing car?
Similarly, you need a rear window defroster that operates. Being unable to see behind you because of frost is extremely unsafe.
8. Change your motor oil routinely
Don’t neglect changing motor oil. If you don’t know how, be sure to stop by J.J.’s in Waldorf to get assistance.
Why should you change the oil regularly? Because older, heavier oils thicken as the temperature drops, and it will not lubricate properly. Consider using a “winter weight” oil.
Now that you know how to winterize your car, you are more ready for the inevitable wintry conditions! Preventative maintenance will make driving on less than ideal roadways much, much easier.
Looking for the best mechanic shop in Waldorf, Maryland that can winterize your car? We’ve got you covered! Check out our other blogs or get in touch with us.