Preparing Your Car For Winter
From Miami (50 degrees) to Northern Minnesota (-26 degrees), people are proclaiming all over the nation this weather is freezing! With the coming of Father Winter, there are some special precautions you need to take to winterize your car. Read below to see some of the extra steps you can take to protect you and your loved ones on the road.
How Do I Know If My Tires Are Safe To Drive On?
Tire tread is one of the most important parts of maintaining a safe driving environment. If you’re not sure if your tires are safe to drive on, you should probably bring your tires into the shop to have a professional check them. A quick way to check to see if you’re all set is to use the old Honest Abe trick. If you put a Penny facing downwards in the lowest part of the tread of your tires and any part of old Abe’s head is obstructed you’re good to go. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s hair, it’s probably time to get those tires changed or at least checked out by a professional.
It’s also a good idea to check tire pressure. Check the books your car came with to find your recommended tire PSI. Sometimes it also says on the actual tire. Stop at the gas station or a service center and top off your tires if you’re low.
Is It Important To Do My Recommended Maintenance?
If you’re due for recommended maintenance, think about bringing your car to a nearby shop ASAP. Follow this checklist to make sure you’re keeping yourself safe:
- Walk around your car and make sure all of your lights are working.
- Top off or change your fluids. Check your oil, coolant, brake, and transmission fluid and all of your filters to make sure your vehicle is running flawlessly. Spending money now can help save money further on down the road.
- Are your windshield wipers up to snuff? If they’re smearing, it’s time to change them. Windshield wipers should be replaced at least once a year. Get into the habit of making that once a year in the beginning of winter.
- Keep your gas tank filled at least halfway. In colder temperatures your gas lines could freeze if your car is sitting idle. You don’t want ice forming in your gas tank or fuel lines.
- Fill the washer fluid reservoir with freeze resistant wiper fluid. Fluids in your car can freeze just like anything else!
- Lastly, check the brakes. If there is cracking or warping, get your brakes checked it’s likely they need to be replaced. If you’re not sure how to check out your brakes yourself, bring them to a mechanic. The last thing you want is for your brakes to fail!
Do I Have To Let My Car Warm Up?
In this day and age, you don’t need to sit and idle your car for several minutes before driving off. If you’re above 0 degrees F, you shouldn’t necessarily have to sit and let your car warm up. If under 0 degrees F, you should maybe wait a minute or so. Eiter way, for the first 3-5 minutes, don’t push the pedal to the medal. Give your car a few minutes of easy driving before you get into passing speed.
What Should I Do To Prepare In Case Of A Breakdown?
If you get stranded, you’re going to want a few things handy (depending on where you’re located).
In warmer climates keep a few things handy in case you break down.
- A small knife and first aid kit
In colder climates, the list grows. As does the severity of the consequences if you don’t have these items during a breakdown.
- Sand, ash, rock salt, or kitty littler to help provide traction if your car gets stuck
Every situation is different. If you feel you need something not on this list make sure you have it! It’s better to be safe than sorry when the unthinkable happens.
Select Luxury Service is the premier Luxury Car Service Center located in Marietta, GA and serves the Greater Atlanta Area. We specialize in servicing BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Audi, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bentley, Maserati, Aston Martin, VW, other exotics and super cars. Please visit our website to schedule an appointment to have your vehicle looked at by our Factory Certified Master Technicians.
Photo Credit: http://www.musclematters.ca/articles/tips-for-avoiding-winter-car-accidents/