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Winter Safety Tips for your Car


Getting your Vehicle Ready for Winter 

The following tips can help prepare your car for the winter and may catch little problems before they become big problems:

  • Repair any engine performance or drivability problems before the cold weather makes them worse.

  • Follow your manufacturer’s recommended service schedules; making sure to check the back breaks and the transmission.

  • Replace any dirty filters (air, fuel, and PCV) to make sure your engine is running efficiently and burning less gasoline.  Change your oil and filter as specified in your manual, or more often if your driving is mostly stop-and-go or consists of frequent short trips.

  • Add a bottle of fuel deicer in your tank once a month to help keep moisture from freezing the fuel line.  Keeping your gas tank filled will also help prevent moisture.

  • Flush and refill the cooling system as recommended.  The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically.

  • Make sure the heater and defroster are in good working condition for comfort and driver visibility.

  • Replace old wiper blades.  Purchase rubber-clad (winter) blades to fight ice buildup.  Make sure to stock up on windshield washer solvent.

  • Have your battery checked by a professional to determine if it is weak.  Perform routine battery maintenance  by scraping away corrosion from posts and cable connections, clean all surfaces, and retighten all connections, but be sure to wear eye protection and protective rubber gloves first.

  • Inspect all light bulbs and replace ones that are burned out.  Clean road grime from all lenses; clouded lenses can be repaired by a professional or with a DIY kit found in most auto parts stores.

  • Fumes inside your vehicle can be deadly! Have the exhaust system examined for leaks or problems; the trunk and floorboards should also be inspected for small holes. 

  • Check tires for worn treads, uneven wearing, and cupping.  Check tire pressure once a month.

  • Always carry an emergency kit with you consisting of extra gloves, boots, blankets, flares, small shovel & kitty litter, a flashlight and extra batteries, cell phone and charger, and a few “high-energy” snacks in case you get stuck.

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