Winter driving presents many more hazards than summer driving. Ice, snow, and rain cause slippery roads and poor visibility, making your car, and the daily commute, far less predictable. Extreme cold puts certain parts of your car under more stress. As the weather starts to get colder, there are a few important maintenance items you should check off to ensure you stay safe on the road until springtime.
New Wiper Blades
Winter driving often includes some poor visibility. Having good, functional wiper blades will make it far easier to see during a storm. Ice buildup on your windshield accelerates the wear and tear on wiper blades, so starting the winter season with a new set will ensure you can see even in the worst weather.
Check Your Battery
Cold weather places added stress on your battery. Before the weather gets cold, bring your car to a local mechanic or auto parts store, and ask them to test the health of your battery. If it’s almost time for a new one, go ahead and replace it. You’ll wish you had if your car won’t start on a cold January morning.
Get Your Brakes Serviced
Excess moisture and road salt impact the effectiveness of your brakes. Variable road conditions mean you are relying on your brakes more than you are in the summer. Your brake fluid can become contaminated with water and other debris, so make sure to get a fluid flush as well. Before the weather gets bad, have a technician service your brakes.
Depending on how harsh the winters are where you live, it may be worth it to get the brakes serviced again halfway through the season.
Top Off Fluids
Make sure essential fluids like oil, coolant, and brake fluid are full. Remember to keep your windshield washer fluid as well, the new wiper blades you got won’t be as effective without them. On applicable fluids, make sure you are using a formula rated for cold weather.
Consider Winter Tires
While it may be tempting to get a set of all seasons, if you live in an area that receives heavy snowfall regularly, there is no replacement for the real thing. A set of dedicated snow tires will keep your car in control on icy, snowy, or slushy roads.
Check Your Tire Pressure Regularly
Cold weather can cause fluctuations in tire pressure. Tires perform best when they are inflated correctly, so make a habit of checking your tire pressure weekly. You can pick up a tire pressure gauge from an auto parts store. If you are unsure what your tire pressure should be, look on the driver’s doorjamb or in the owner’s manual.
Get An Oil Change
Cold starts are rough on the internals of your engine. Having fresh oil will better protect the rotating components of your engine on initial startup. Getting an oil change before winter starts will keep your motor running smoothly.
Keep An Emergency Bag
Keeping a bag in your truck with food, first aid supplies, and jumper cables will come in handy if you end up stranded with a dead battery or slide off the road during a storm.
Get Ready For Winter At Becker Service Center!
Our technicians can perform all the services needed to get your car ready for an Illinois winter. Whether you need an oil change, brake service, or a winter tire swap, we are here to help. Give us a call or schedule an appointment online today!