Before we know it, winter will be here. After last year, I’m not sure I’m ready for another onslaught of snow and record low temperatures.
Are you ready? What about your car? New tires, testing the battery, and replacing your wiper blades may be at the top of your checklist, but there are a few more things to consider for safe and reliable driving during our harsh winter months.
- Battery: A dead battery is the No. 1 one reason motorists get stranded and need a tow truck. The average life of a battery is 4 to 6 years, and batteries rarely give a warning before they fail. That’s why we recommend testing any battery that is more than 3 years old. It’s also smart to make sure the connections between the battery cables and battery terminals are secure, clean and corrosion free.
- Tires: Do your tires have adequate tread to grip the pavement and get you through the snow? Not sure when it’s time to buy new tires? Our Tire Services page gives you all the info you need to know about replacing your tires. And when it’s time, here’s why you want to choose Auto Lab instead of a big box store.
- Brakes: Being able to stop safely in snow, slush and rain are a must. Are your brake pads worn? Are your brakes squeaking or grinding? If you have any concerns, it’s better to replace your brake pads and rotors before snow is on the ground. Our Brakes Services page will give you more information about how long your brakes should last and signs that you need new brakes.
- Cooling System: A properly operating cooling system will ensure your engine and radiator will be protected even when if the temperatures dip below zero. And more importantly, it will also keep you warm and toasty in the passenger compartment. Before the cold hits, let’s check your coolant level and condition, as well as inspect the belts and hoses that circulate the coolant throughout the system.
- Heater and Defroster: If you haven’t done so already, turn on your heater and defroster on a frost-covered morning and make sure they are working correctly.
- Wiper Blades: Do you hate snow and ice build-up on your wiper blades? Many motorists switch out to winter blades this time of year because they have a protective rubber boot to prevent snow and ice buildup. If you’re among those who don’t care for winter blades, you can put a new set of regular blades on now…instead of waiting for that first messy snow and slush day. Also, keep a spare jug of washer fluid in your trunk.
- Headlights: Check to make sure your headlights are working properly and don’t forget to clean them off before driving off into snow and rain. If your headlights are foggy or have a yellow, hazy look to them, headlight restoration is an easy, affordable way to improve your nighttime visibility.
- Floor Mats: If you want to keep your original floor mats in good condition, buy an inexpensive set for winter to put over your existing mats. If you get stuck and your wheels are spinning, you can often use your inexpensive floor mats in front of the tires to get enough traction to get moving again.
Remember that the whole Auto Lab team is here to help winterize your car. Schedule an appointment today to ensure your vehicle’s ready for winter – even if you’re not quite ready yet.
Happy winter preparations!