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Winterizing Your Car

 
 
Where did the summer go? Leaves are turning and temperatures are falling—and it’s time to winterize your car.  
 
Winterizing your car involves doing all you can to keep the car running well through all sorts of winter weather, and preparing to take care of the people in the car in case something happens and you’re stuck or stopped.
 
Winterizing Your Car:  Under the hood
 
·       Top off your washer fluid so the debris from the road can be cleared off easily. While you’re at it, replace windshield wipers that are more than six to twelve months old, depending on wear.
·       Make sure the fluid in your radiator is half coolant, half water. Then your engine will be cozy when the weather’s not. Also make sure to have your antifreeze temperature tested. If the temperature of your coolant will only protect down to -10 degrees, you may want to have it serviced.
·       Oil matters. Make sure to keep your oil changed according to schedule, even when it’s blustery outside. If you usually change your own oil, winter might be a good time to treat yourself to an oil change service so you don’t delay a needed change.
·       Check belts and hoses. If they’re worn to start with, cold weather might finish them off—and you know it will happen at the most inconvenient time.
·       Is your battery in good shape? Normal battery life is three to five years. Check the battery posts for corrosion and make sure the battery holds a full charge. Make sure the battery cables are free of splits and tears. 
·       Keep your gas tank full. A full tank will make it less nerve-wracking to wait in bad traffic, or worse, if you get stuck. A full tank also reduces the risk of frozen gas lines.
·       If your heater and defroster aren’t working properly, or if you have leaks around your windows and doors, get them fixed before winter sets in or you may have difficulty with too much moisture in the car causing foggy windows. It’s no fun and not safe to try to keep the windows clear with one hand and drive with the other.
 
Winterizing Your Car:  Rubber Meets the Road
 
·       Do you need snow tires? In the winter you might get rain or snow--or sometimes both at the same time.  Snow tires provide improved traction and stopping power in winter driving conditions. If you have to drive on a lot of hills, snow tires are even more important.
·       Correct tire pressure is just as important as having the right tires. Proper inflation is necessary for maximum traction, and tire pressure drops when the temperature drops, so you’ll need to check tire pressure several times during the winter.
·       If you’re going to do serious winter driving, for instance in the mountains, consider getting a set of chains to have handy. If you need them, you need them.
 
Winterizing Your Car:  The Trunk’s the Thing
 
You’ve done everything you can to prepare your car, but the unexpected still might happen. Prepare yourself for adverse conditions by making your trunk an emergency kit to-go. Fill your trunk kit with:
 
·       Items that will keep you and your passengers warm, dry, fed, and safe: Hats, mittens, blankets, extra boots, an emergency food supply, and a first-aid kit.
·       Winter gear for your car: An ice scraper, windshield washer fluid, coolant, jumper cables, tools, a tire gauge and tire-changing equipment, and a spare tire with air in it.
·       Items you need if you’re stuck: Flares, flashlight, small shovel, and sand, salt, or cat litter for adding traction.
 
Winterizing Your Car:  Your Purse, Desk Drawer, or Garage
 
·       Lock de-icer: It can make the difference between being on time or late on a winter morning.  Just don’t keep it in the car--it won’t do you any good there!
 
Winter is coming. It does every year. The better prepared you are, the more you will be able to enjoy the change of seasons and winter scenery. Call your favorite mechanic today to get on their schedule to prepare your car for the winter. 
 
 
 
 Pfefferle Tire and Automotive Service is a two generation, family owned and operated repair shop.  Our services include quick lube service, tires and auto repair, and routine maintenance.  What sets us apart from other shops?  Our technicians do not work on commission, so there is no need for them to oversell.  We like to say, "We advise and you decide!" 
 
Contact Pfefferle Tire and Auto Service to schedule your preventative maintenance appointment! (513) 829-1900

Written on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 by pfefferle
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