The first signs of winter are beginning to make an appearance in parts of the United States. And no matter where you live, even a small drop in temperature can cause your car to become temperamental.
So with chilly mornings knocking at your door, we’re sending this reminder to prepare your car for the harsh weather that may be coming your way!
If you live in an area with severe winter cold, road conditions can be dangerous. The last thing you want is to be stranded in a storm from failing to properly winterize your car.
Our team has put together a checklist of maintenance tasks to better prepare your daily driver for the unpredictable road ahead:
Check your tire tread.
This might be the easiest task you can do to potentially save your life.
Especially after the hot summer months, it’s important to check the tread on your tires.
What am I looking for, exactly?
To see that they’re not beginning to bald.
Bald tires can cause you to slip and lose control of your vehicle on icy, wet roads.
A DIY test you can use to accurately check your tire tread is the “Penny Test.”
Simply grab a penny and insert the penny into one of the first grooves in your tire’s tread.
If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, this means your tires are worn and dangerous to be driven in wet and icy conditions, and you should get them replaced as soon as possible.
If part of Lincoln’s head is still covered, then you are good to go. This means your tires have at least 2/32 of an inch of tread remaining, and they are safe to drive on.
However, even if your tires are safe to drive on now, you should continue to check your tread every couple of months, making sure to replace your tires as soon as the tread wears out.
Fill up those tires.
After you make sure your tire’s tread is good to go, you will want to make sure they are filled with the appropriate PSI (Pounds per Square Inch).
If you’re not sure how much PSI to fill your tires, check the sticker placed on the inside of your driver’s side door frame. This should give you the manufacturer-recommended PSI for your tires.
Got snow tires?
If you live in an area with large quantities of snowfall, you might want to consider getting snow tires put on your vehicle. Snow tires are temporary, providing great traction in deep snow or slippery/icy roads.
So much safer to drive with these in volatile conditions!
Clean your combustion chamber and intake valves.
Cleaning your combustion chamber and intake valves is always a good idea, no matter what time of year it is.
Just like getting squeaky clean in a bath from time to time, your combustion chamber and intake valves need a good rub-down, too.
From improving throttle response to enhancing overall drivability, there are products designed to dissolve stubborn carbon buildup and dramatically increase vehicle performance. We recommend using our Intake Valve & Combustion Cleaner — professionally formulated for use in all fuel-injected gasoline engines.
Change your oil and antifreeze.
The oil will often heat up in the summer months and this will make it evaporate quicker. So after the heat has passed, it’s always a good rule of thumb to get your oil checked and/or changed.
If your car does not have the appropriate amount of oil, you can risk burning out your engine…a very pricey mistake!
As another good general-principle, you might also change your anti-freeze before every winter. Old antifreeze can become acidic if not changed out regularly. Too much acidity can break down rubber and aluminum parts in your engine, potentially leading to some significant complications.
Inspect your battery.
Last but not least, it is important to check your battery before winter to make sure it’s in tip-top shape. Cold weather can lessen the capacity of your battery, so making sure it is in optimal condition is crucial before the cold hits!
Just as below-freezing temperatures can be tough on our bodies, it can also be tough on our vehicles. Maintenance is key to preventing any unexpected car tragedies from happening!
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