Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Car Running This Winter

Winter can be hard on your vehicle. This is why it is so important that you make sure your car or truck is serviced and ready for the cold temperatures ahead. Routine maintenance and repairs will help you avoid a breakdown when you least expect it. Listed here are some winter driving tips and helpful hints to keep your vehicle running smoothly and trouble-free.

Check tires: You will want to be sure that your tires are properly inflated and have plenty of tread on them. It is important that your tires are in top condition, especially when there is inclement weather this winter.

Check heat: There is nothing worse than hoping in your car on a cold morning only to discover that the heater is not working. Be sure it is in good working order before the temperatures drop too low.

Check defroster: Your vehicle’s defroster is essential for clearing the window on cold winter days. Be sure it is working properly so you always have a clear view of the road.

Inspect and replace wiper blades: Just like the defroster, your windshield wipers help you maintain a clear view out of your windshield and in some cases, the rear window. It is important that they are in good working order at all times.

Check battery: Cold weather can strain an already weak battery. Be sure your battery, starter and alternator are in top condition so you don’t end up with a breakdown this winter.

Change engine oil: Your engine needs plenty of lubrication to run smoothly and efficiently. Check your oil routinely and replace it every 3000 miles to protect all of your valuable parts and prevent costly repairs.

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Refill your gas tank often. The last thing you want is to get stuck in bad weather without gas. Keep your tank filled so that you can get where you need to go without stopping along the way.

Find a service center in your area that offers expert vehicle maintenance for an affordable price. Keep a maintenance log so that you have written proof of the service and repairs that you have had completed. Perform visual inspections of tires, oil and wiper blades each time you stop for gas so that you can identify potential problems before they get worse.

A well-maintained vehicle is essential for safe driving. However, accidents and emergencies can still happen. Listed here are a few items you may want to consider taking with you when traveling this winter just in case of an emergency.

Carry a cell phone with you in case you need to call for help

Place a blanket and a pair of boots in the trunk in case you are stranded

Keep an ice scraper handy for those cold mornings

Always clear your windows and windshield before driving

Place a flashlight in your glove box

Carry water bottles and a first aid kit for emergencies

Plan your route-use a GPS navigations system or maps

Check the weather reports so you know what to expect before heading out

Never take chances when driving-if the Highway Patrol tells you to stay home, you should follow that advice. Nothing is more important than your safety.