Winter is coming. But before you snuggle under the covers with a book and some hot cocoa, remember to prepare your car for the season. Cold can break down several parts of your car, causing damage that can result in thousands of dollars of mechanics fees or worse, horrendous car accidents. Check out these simple maintenance checks and preparations you can do in the comfort of your own garage to keep your vehicle roadworthy, winter-ready, and running smoothly. Take note of these 10 tips from Subaru in Albuquerque, NM on how to get your car ready for winter.
- Keep Clear Visibility
This is a key part of winter preparation. You need to be able to spot snow banks and broken branches on the road, and keep an eye out for other cars. Replace your wiper blades if they’ve been on for a year. Make sure to fill the windshield washer reservoir with windshield washer fluid and not water.
- Pump Your Tires
Having even slightly deflated tires can be very dangerous in winter. It makes the car more prone to skidding or even hydroplaning. Check the car manual for the most ideal tire pressure levels for your car and fill them as recommended.
- Switch to Snow Tires
Winter tires are very useful with helping grip onto heavily snowed on and slippery roads. Take extra care to put them on only during the worst of winter as snow tires increase gas consumption.
- Pay Attention to Your Battery
This is simple enough to do in your home garage. Check your battery’s posts and connections to make sure they are damage-free and it has enough water. Finding someone to jumpstart your car in the middle of a snowstorm might be next to impossible. So, if your battery is more than three years old, get your usual mechanic to test it.
- Check the Belts and Hoses
This might be difficult to check on on your own. When you take your car to the mechanic, ask him to pay special attention to the belts and hoses. Though they are generally very hardy, wear and tear can happen easily, especially when driving over unclear, cold, or rough terrain.
- Look Over Your Oil and Antifreeze
During the winter, these two components are really important in keeping your car roadworthy. Like its name suggests, antifreeze prevents freezing by lowering the freezing point of liquids in your car. Oil is needed to keep your engine lubricated and running smoothly. Oil tends to thicken when it is cold so you should check it every 30,000 miles or whenever you feel your engine sticking.
- What About 4WD?
If you have 4WD, make sure that all the systems are running before using it. Most times, 4WD isn’t used till the winter season so you may be unaware of any problems that might exist. If you’re unsure how to check if the system is running well, then check with your Subaru dealer near Santa Fe, NM.
- Check Your Heater
This seems obvious but many people tend to overlook this. Short drives during winter without heat are manageable. But what happens if detours occur and suddenly you’re stranded somewhere with no heat? Make sure your heater is in great working condition–it will keep you warm and might even save your life.
- Always Be Prepared
Keep an emergency kit in your car. It should contain blankets, boots, gloves, warm clothes, water, snack, candies, ice scraper, flashlight, shovel, windshield washer fluid, windshield wipers, flares, jumper cables, a car jack and a toolkit, tire gauge, a spare tire, tire chains, first-aid kit, and a bag of salt or sand if your wheels get stuck and you need traction.
- In Case You Get Stranded
Knowing how to react in bad winter conditions is as important as getting your car checked out. If your emergency kit has been well prepped, then all you need to do is put a flare at the front and back of your car to draw attention and prevent a collision. Put on extra clothes and snuggle up in that spare blanket. If you have plenty of gas, leave the heater running for ten-minutes every hour. Remember to suck on some candy to keep your mouth from drying out and crack a window so the car doesn’t seal itself shut. Most importantly, whenever possible, always tell someone where you’re going.
These tips are great for the winter season. Follow them closely and you and your car will make it through this time unscathed. For more information about properly adapting your vehicle for winter, check out your Fiesta Subaru car dealer in the Albuquerque, NM area.