Getting Your Car Winter Ready: Tips for You to do and have done by your Auto Service Mechanicby Ali's Bellevue Auto Repair on 12/07/15
As winter closes in it is important to make sure that you are "winterizing" your car and protecting it from the effects of the cold temperatures. When you give your vehicle preventative services and regular maintenance you can help your car to have a longer life with less major breakdowns- helping you to save money. There are also some simple tips that you can do yourself that will help ready your car for the colder weather. Below we have outlined some services that will keep your car running in the freezing climate.
Some tips for you to handle yourself:
1) Inspect your tire pressure and the tread on the tires. Cold can be hard on your tires causing them to loose air because the pressure has dropped. Making sure your tires are properly inflated during cold weather will extend the life of your tires and also help you get better gas mileage. Along with the pressure be sure to note the tire’s thread. Tires that have excessive wear or are bald can become a hazard on the road putting your car’s handling and your safety at risk.
2) Check your car’s battery. During colder times your car’s battery is working hard- and if your battery is old or worn it may stop working unexpectedly. Look at the battery to see if it shows signs of ware like rust or corrosion. If it does then you will want to clean the battery and remove the buildup. Or if your battery is more than two years old you may look into replacing it to avoid a sudden stoppage.
3) Ensure that your windshield wipers and defrost system are working properly. If the wiper blades are rusted or not working properly it is time to have them replaced. During the winter weather it is important to make sure that they work to keep you safe with from weather-related obstructions, like sleet, hail or excessive rain, by giving you a clear view of the road. Also during freezing weather you will want to ensure that your defrost system is functioning so that ice can be melted and you can see the road while driving.
4) Add an emergency kit to your car. This can help you greatly if case of a breakdown. Having extra warm clothing, batteries, flashlights, tire chains, water, and snacks can make all the difference during a crisis situation.
Professional, preventative maintenance that can help winterize your car:
1) Address drivability issues and verify that your vehicle is up to date on regular services. If your car is running hard or starting slowly get it checked out as the cold weather may only make the problem worse. Also, when your car has had its regular recommended services and tune-ups then it is less likely to unexpectedly breakdown. Do not hesitate on repairs that you know need to be done. Waiting may cause bigger system breakdowns and overhauls that can be costly.
2) Get your oil changed. Also make sure to get your fluids checked and topped off. We do this every time you get an oil change. Better to get an oil change sooner than you should, as opposed to later than you should or in the dead of winter.
3) Get your brakes checked and fixed. This is the time of year that your brakes MUST BE at their best. Wet roads, icy roads, less hours of daylight, leaves and debris on the roadway, and maybe even snow, will test your brakes unlike any other time of year.
4) Have old filters changed. This can help keep your car’s engine running efficiently and can also keep your car more fuel efficient. It's an option that some folks don't have done with their oil change, but you should insist on it for your last oil change going into winter.
5) Wheel alignment should be checked and you should have that adjusted if needed. It's pretty much the same argument as your brakes above. This is the time of year where you will need your car to be as nimble and controllable as possible.
For everything you need to know about winterizing your vehicle- you can call Ali's or bring you car in. We provide ALL the factory recommended services (and will help keep you within your warranty!) and any other repair that your vehicle may need. We'll help with any of the services a mechanic should do to get you winter ready, but if you don't know how to check your battery or tires, we'll gladly help you with those things too. Ali's Bellevue Auto Repair (and Ali's Woodinville Auto Repair) has been providing affordable, quality services to Bellevue, Auto Repair in Redmond WA, and the surrounding areas for decades and will work with you for everything your car needs.