The winter season can put a significant strain on your car. That’s why you must take action to prepare your vehicle for the wintertime. You also need to consider backup plans, service options, and alternative traveling methods if something happens to your vehicle despite your efforts. These are basic car care and related practices to do to ensure that you can literally weather any storm that falls upon you.
Get Into the Habit of Slowing Down
Moving at a slower pace can preserve your vehicle and keep it from suffering damage from a collision. It can also keep you from getting into trouble with the authorities. Thus, you should get into the habit of driving no faster than the speed limit when you see highway signs and parking lot signs.
For example, your apartment complex might have a parking lot sign that says you must travel no more than 10 miles per hour on the premises. That may seem extremely slow to you, but it can protect residents from accidents and preserve the children’s safety when they play outside.
The process of slowing down doesn’t only apply to the basic car care principle of following stop signs. It also refers to all aspects of life in general. Many people in the world often find themselves rushing to get nowhere.
Life doesn’t have to be a race. It can be a calm pursuit in which you don’t put yourself at risk for auto damage, health problems, or mental health disturbance. Stop and take a full breath before you do anything in life, and you’ll feel much more in control of your destiny.
Change Your Car’s Oil
A car oil change is another basic car care practice that deserves your full attention. It’s vital for the life of your vehicle if you change the oil when the manufacturer recommends it. The information on the frequency of oil changes is in your vehicle owner’s manual.
Follow those guidelines and consider making a few adjustments if driving your car under harsh conditions. For example, change your oil every 3,000 instead of every 5,000 miles if you use your car as a daily commuter and expose it to extreme temperatures.
You might also consider using a different viscosity during the winter months. A 5W30 A car oil change is an excellent idea because it will allow you to have oil in your crankcase that flows easily in cold weather. If you select a synthetic brand, you will also have the extra benefit of having increased protection in scorching weather.
Check with your manual to ensure you can make the change, and consider getting one of these special oil changes with products that will preserve your car.
Get Your Primary Maintenance Tasks Done
There are many basic car care procedures that your user’s manual recommends you get done at specific intervals. It would be super wise for you to visit a local auto shop and have the ones specific to wintertime done. The following are some of the maintenance tasks you should take care of before the cold season starts:
Replace Windshield Wipers
The very last thing you will want is to find yourself jammed in the middle of the storm with wiper blades that don’t work. You might find yourself squinting and struggling to move your vehicle through hard rain, snowfall, and fog.
Please take the time to have a professional examine your windshield wipers and install new ones if they are missing rubber or give you a weak layer of protection.
Check All the Lights
Your lights are another part of basic maintenance you need to tend to before you drive during the winter when days are shorter, and drivers need their lights more frequently. You have two choices for light inspections and maintenance.
You can walk around your vehicle and request help checking all of the lights with one of your friends. Alternatively, you can visit an automotive shop and have them check the lights for you. You will then know which lights need new fuses, bulbs, or filaments.
Paying prompt attention to your findings and replacing faulty items with working ones will prevent accidents and vehicular damage. Examples of some of the lights you will need to check are the headlights, brake lights, fog lights, license plate lights, turn signals, and hazard lights.
Consider Winter Tires
Now might be the precise time to think about having some winter tires installed. It is usually a sound idea to use winter tires if you live in an area where temperatures typically go below 32 degrees.
Winter tires differ from summer tires and all-season tires because they have softer rubber that keeps them flexible even in extremely cold temperatures.
Flush Your Cooling System
Now might be the most effective time to get a cooling system service done on your car. During this service, technicians can drain your cooling system of the liquid that’s in it right now and replace it with fresh coolant.
Having your coolant exchanged and your cooling system flushed will decrease the chances of getting corrosion in your system. The most effective type of antifreeze for the wintertime is one that has at least 50 percent antifreeze and a much lower concentration of water.
Your best bet is to have a technician put a prediluted 50/50 mix in your vehicle so that you can worry less about exiting freezing and jamming your cooling system.
Rent a Truck for a Winter Move
Avoid using your car to haul your things if you intend to move during the winter. Instead, you’ll need to find a truck rental service to find a vehicle designed for those tough tasks. Truck rentals are relatively inexpensive and provide various sizes to accommodate multiple moving needs.
Contact a truck rental company if you need to know their precise pricing and how much you will need to pay to rent a truck if you need to move your house. Keep your personal car or truck parked and avoid loading it with heavy items when rental trucks are available.
Take Care of Your Windshields
The windshield on your car is one of its most critical items. It protects you from getting hit by items such as rocks and fallen debris. It also holds the air in so that you and your passengers can feel comfortable whenever they ride in your car. You should never go for long periods without taking care of an apparently damaged windshield.
Not tending to such a problem can leave your window or windshield vulnerable to developing even longer and more pronounced cracks. The existing cracks are already reducing your windshield’s effectiveness. It would not be wise to add to the interference.
A cracked windshield can allow air to enter the vehicle, which may make you or your passengers uncomfortable. Fortunately, you can easily have someone repair your vehicle’s windshield. Some states offer free windshield repair through insurance companies.
Otherwise, you can get a discounted price on repairs and replacement through your collision and comprehensive insurance. Mobile windshield techs can come to your dwelling and do the work that you need to be done on your windshield. It would be wise for you to take care of this basic car care procedure before the cold air penetrates through the cracks and cause extreme discomfort.
Prepare the Body for Harsh Weather
Another basic car care procedure you can do is getting your vehicle detailed inside and out. Detailing includes ensuring that the vehicle’s body has a high level of protection against harsh elements. Certain providers will put layers of wax or special coatings on your vehicle that repel moisture or block the potential for the paint to chip.
Contact a car detailing company and ask questions about the service packages they provide. If the exterior services they give you are not enough to provide you with the level of protection you need, a body shop can help.
You can take advantage of the services a local auto dent repair shop has instead, especially if you have legitimate dents on your car’s exterior anyway. It’s acceptable to pamper your car a little bit by having the dings, chips, and dents taken out of it.
Keep Your Storage Areas Clean and Safe
You’ll also need to keep your garage safe and clean to store your car in the winter. Parking in the garage will prevent your battery from freezing when the car’s not in use. Therefore, you should consider parking it in there all the time when you are not driving it. By keeping the area clean, you will also have room to provide a primary care car service to it if you need to do DIY sometimes.
One thing you must do is hire someone who can do garage door repair service if your unit is failing. Signs of a failing garage door include slow opening, failure to open, strange noises, and unpleasant smells.
Find an Auto Repair Shop
You don’t ever want to get stuck looking for basic car care service providers at the last minute. That’s why it would be wise to research and find a shop that now offers your most needed auto repair services.
That way, you can press one button or refer to your contact list at the first sign of an issue that needs attention. Here’s what you need to look for in a reliable auto repair shop.
A good auto repair shop cares about the clients and their cars. Thus, you’ll want to look for a provider who makes customers a priority rather than profits. If you can find a trustworthy provider like this, it will be a rare find that you should hold onto.
Your budget is essential when looking for an automotive service provider. Thus, you may need to contact a few facilities and ask questions to find a provider with an acceptable pricing grid. Essentially, it boils down to the labor charges.
Your goal should be to hire a company the community trusts. Thus, you’ll need to spend sometime reading consumer reviews to determine how prospective auto repair shops measure up. Three stars are acceptable, but you should aim higher for the ultimate satisfaction.
Ideally, you should want to find a provider that offers an array of automotive services. You would feel comfortable going to this provider for your basic care services and critical repairs, diagnostics, and even miscellaneous procedures like radio installations. An auto repair shop is best when it can act as a one-stop shop for you.
Visit a Used Car Dealer
Vehicles sometimes come to the end of their lives during winter. That said, you’ll need to find a reliable place to purchase another car if basic car care and auto repairs don’t work to revive your flat-lined vehicle. It’s always best to get a headstart on finding reliable providers.
Much like a trustworthy repair shop, a respectable car dealership should have compassion, reasonable prices, an extensive inventory, and fantastic customer service. It will be a plus if you can also find a location with an on-site service center. On-site service centers are great for saving time and sparing clients of inconveniences. Be sure to do your research so you find the best used car dealer for you.
Find Vehicle-Specific Maintenance Service Providers
Look for providers that have specialized training in the vehicle or manufacturer you have. For example, look for MOPAR-certified technicians if you have a Chrysler, Dodge, or Jeep vehicle. That way, you will know that your technician will perform your Jeep maintenance precisely the way the manufacturer wants it done and will not deviate from the original plan for the vehicle.
Performing maintenance tasks to the manufacturer’s specifications are the leading way to add as much life as possible to the vehicle. Everything you do to improve the life and performance of your car will help.
Those are just a few basic car care and miscellaneous duties you should take care of before the wintertime. Go through the list and position yourself to have a much better season.