You know that winter and bad weather are coming. Is your car ready? Here’s a quick checklist of things to get up to speed on:
Motor oil: Motor oil has a tendency to thicken in cold weather, making it harder to circulate to upper engine parts at startup. If you haven’t ever used synthetic oil before, this might be a good time to start. The flow properties of synthetic oil are a lot more consistent, meaning it doesn’t thicken in sub-freezing temperatures or thin out when it’s hot outside.
Wipers: Even the best windshield wipers only last about a year. If your wipers are showing cracks or chips or losing strips of rubber, go ahead and replace them. Don’t forget to refill your washer fluid reservoir…you’ll need it once the weather gets bad.
Cooling system: If you can’t remember the last time your coolant was changed, it’s pretty easy for a technician to test its condition. Remember that coolant, a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and distilled water, prevents freeze-ups in wintertime as well as boilovers in hot weather.
Heater and defroster: Since the heater is part of the cooling system, a flush of the system will help remove any scale or corrosion that may have built up in the heater core.
Tires: Make sure your tires are in good shape, with plenty of tread depth, and check the inflation. Remember that air expands when hot, so be sure to check tire pressure when the tires are still cold. That also means they’ll lose a couple of pounds of air pressure when the temperatures are really cold.
You can’t do much about winter weather, but you can at least up your chances of getting through it unscathed when your car’s in good shape for winter driving!