8 Tips To Keep Your Car Running This Winter:
Like all machines, vehicles need to be inspected, repaired and taken care of to optimize performance and lifespan. Here are a few car maintenance tips to help you get the most out of your vehicle this year.
- Change your oil – The general consensus is to change your oil every 5,000 km or twice a year if you don’t drive often. Make sure you check your vehicle’s manual to find out what oil is best for your engine.
- Check heater, defroster and A/C – Turn on your heating system to full and make sure that it’s working properly. Turn your defroster on to ensure that your front and back windshields clear up quickly. Before the hot weather hits, test your A/C to make sure it’s working properly.
- Install new wiper blades – Inspect your wiper blades and wiper arms to make sure they are in good working order. Also, make sure you buy two jugs of washer fluid. One designed for winter and one for summer driving. Keep the proper one in your trunk at all times.
- Test your brakes and tires regularly – It’s best to do this before winter hits, as well as throughout the year. For your brakes, listen for squealing noises or a delayed reaction when hitting the pedals. You should have two sets of tires. All-seasons don’t offer the protection you need during the winter months. Make sure you have your mechanic inspect both sets of tires before putting them on, and ensure that they are being rotated each time.
- Check all lights – Check high and low-beams, brake and hazard lights. If your vehicle has fog lights, double check those as well.
- Battery – Inspect your battery to make sure it’s in good-working order with no corrosion around the connectors. In winter time, it’s a good idea to start your car and let it run every so often, particularly if you’re not driving it on a regular basis. It’s also a great idea to keep booster cables in your trunk.
- All fluids are topped up – Make sure that your washer, transmission, brake and power steering fluids are all topped up. It’s good to get in a routine of periodically checking the levels of these fluids as well.
- A general inspection – Every now and then, walk around your car and look for anything out of the ordinary. Check your tires and under the hood as well.
Preventative measures There are a few other preventative maintenance things you may want to do to your vehicle, including: Rust – To fight off rust, have your car under sprayed before the snow falls. Road salt is a major contributor to a vehicle rusting. Frequent car washes can help too, especially in summer. Dirt, mud, sand and salt can slowly wear down the protective finish on your vehicle. Inspections – Visit your mechanic a couple of times a year to have them look for anything that may become an issue down the road. Pay attention – Every now and then, pay extra attention to your vehicle. Is it making any weird noises? Are there any strange smells coming from under the hood? Is it driving differently than normal? Keep your car clean – A cluttered car not only looks bad, but could be dangerous in case of an accident. Things could fly around and hit you if you take a corner too sharply or get rear-ended. Keep a small garbage can or bag secured in the back seat. These car maintenance tips will help you keep your vehicle in good condition this year, but if you do find you need some help with maintaining or repairing your vehicle, be sure to call the pros at Xtreme Tire Garage. We’re here to help you keep your tires and your vehicle in the best shape possible.