Vehicle Maintenance Tips for the Winter Season

Winter weather can lead to conditions that have a negative effect on a vehicle. Sleet, ice, snow, freezing temperatures, and other weather conditions make preparing a vehicle for these extremes very important. These weather factors can place a strain on vehicles and affect overall performance. Take the initiative to check the overall vehicle maintenance. If any issues are found, it is best to schedule an appointment with an automotive repair shop to perform any needed repairs or replacements. Keep your car running smoothly throughout the winter by following the tips outlined in this article. 

Battery Check

A report from Consumer Reports states that a car battery only has half of its power when starting up at 0 degrees, in comparison to starting at 80 degrees. The winter cold is very rough on batteries and can lead to a dead battery. Be sure to get a battery volt test at an automotive repair shop, particularly if an older battery is present. 

Headlight Issues

Fog, rain, sleet, and snow can all have a negative impact on visibility, so having working headlights is a must. Complete a headlight check, ensuring both normal beams and high beams are functioning properly. Check headlights are clean and not foggy, however, if the headlights are dirty, either purchase a headlight cleaning kit or visit a repair shop.

Windshield Wipers

Proper windshield wipers are needed during winter months to ensure the ability to see clearly through the windshield. Slush and mud can get on the windshield causing visibility issues. Be certain to have wipers that can cut through mud and slush, and don't forget to check windshield wiper fluid levels. If wipers are older than 12 months, it is a great idea to replace them.

Tire Pressure

Lower temperatures cause tires to lose pressure, which can lead to poor vehicle performance. Not having proper tire pressure can lead to a reduction in traction, rapid wear, and lower gas mileage. Check tire pressure once a week and ensure the pressure matches recommendations from the tire manufacturers. 

Tires Are an Investment

Depending on the amount of driving and where a car is driven, winter tires may be a great option. Winter tires are made from rubber compounds that can more easily grip the road during cold winter months. Softer tires, which are made for all seasons, can skid or slide around on the cold pavement, even if the roads are completely dry. Winter tires can last longer than one winter because the tires are only used for approximately 3 months of the year. Winter tires are an excellent investment in safety. 

Fluid Check

Checking all fluids, such as Antifreeze, is a very important step to get your vehicle ready for the winter months. Antifreeze helps protect the engine of the vehicle. Keep a full tank of gas at all times and remember to check your oil levels. Taking a car in for a pre-winter oil change is also a great idea. 

Get An Inspection

Take a car to a garage for an overall winter vehicle maintenance check. An experienced mechanic will look over a vehicle and have the knowledge to present a recommended winterizing list. A mechanic will check fluids and ensure everything is working properly.