Winter is almost here. In some parts of the country, it is already here. Is your vehicle ready for the winter? If you answer “no”, it’s time to act. Getting your vehicle ready for the winter is essential to the performance and safety of your vehicle. There are ten things you can do right now to get your vehicle ready for the winter. Follow these ten steps.
1. Tire Safety
The tires of your vehicle are the only thing between you and the road. It’s essential for safety purposes that you have tires for the winter that will ensure proper traction. Winter tires are designed with a specific tread pattern that provides enhanced traction on snow and ice.
The proper tires for winter driving will help you maintain control and stability, especially during acceleration, deceleration, and turns in winter weather. Depending on where you live and the amount of snow and ice you can expect, all-season tires can do the trick. Have your tires checked by a professional. If they are still in good condition, you may just need a tire rotation to get your vehicle ready for the winter.
The right tires are essential year-round but especially in the winter. Challenging driving conditions that are often associated with winter driving, can be overcome if you have the right tires and equipment. Make sure you check your tires before the winter arrives.
2. Check Transmission
The cold temperatures can have an effect on transmission fluids, especially if they are low or in need of replacement. An auto transmission fix from a dedicated auto transmission shop can help ensure that your transmission is in good shape and your vehicle is ready for the winter. Having your transmission checked and tuned up now will ensure that you will avoid problems this winter.
Following your manufacturer’s recommended service for your transmission is important but that doesn’t mean you should not have it checked in between services. It’s important that you have your transmission checked out before the winter and the bad weather arrives. There are two key components that move your vehicle, the engine and the transmission. Without a stable transmission, your vehicle will not move.
If you have an older vehicle, you should have your transmission checked more frequently. Older vehicles are at a greater risk of developing transmission fluid leaks. Getting your vehicle ready for the winter should include having a transmission checked by a certified mechanic.
3. Preventive Maintenance
Did you know that there are different “oil weights” designed for summer and winter use? For example, a 10 W 30 weight notation on the oil indicates that it is a “winter” weight or thinner oil. In the winter you want to use a thinner oil, and, in the summer, you want to use a heavier oil. When you are getting your vehicle ready for the winter make sure you put an oil change on the list.
Oil changes are one of the most common forms of preventive maintenance for your vehicle. A regular oil change in preparation for the winter ensures that your vehicle is equipped with oil of the appropriate viscosity for winter conditions. Thicker summer oils that have become contaminated through regular vehicle use can be slow to flow causing engine damage.
Oil changes are affordable and readily available at most local auto repair shops. Well-lubricated engines experience less friction and wear. Changing the oil before winter helps prevent excessive wear on engine components and keeps your vehicle running reliably.
4. Complete Inspection
It is strongly recommended that you have your vehicle completely inspected before the winter arrives. It’s important that you have the equipment and the components on the vehicle inspected to ensure optimal performance. Simple checks like checking the windshield wipers and ensuring all the lights work on the vehicle can help to keep you safe on the road during inclement winter weather.
Sometimes little things like windshield wipers can have a profound effect on safety. Getting your vehicle ready for the winter means doing a complete safety inspection of your vehicle. We talked about ensuring your tires are in winter-ready condition. New tires may mean you also need an auto alignment to ensure that the tires, wheels, and suspension system are easy to control.
A safety inspection will ensure that your vehicle is equipped with parts that can make a difference in winter driving. It’s important that all the safety features on your vehicle are in good condition. Don’t risk winter driving without the proper equipment, it could end badly.
5. Winter Driving
Not only should you focus on getting your vehicle ready for the winter, but you should focus on getting your driving skills polished for the winter. Winter driving is very different from driving in the spring, summer and fall. Thinking about how to drive in the winter and what steps you can take to reduce the risk of accidents is essential.
One of the key elements of winter driving that will reduce the risk of accidents is to slow down. Wet, icy roads require longer braking time, and good control of your vehicle. It is easier to brake when you are going slower, and it is easier to control your vehicle when you reduce speed. Learn how to manage skidding.
Other tips for safer winter driving is to use low beams in snowy weather and turn off the cruise control. If you want to avoid the cost of auto body repair, it’s essential that you follow safe driving practices in the winter months. Learn more about safe driving practices and apply them this winter.
6. Body Damage
The wintertime can put some serious wear and tear on the body of your vehicle. The solutions that are used to deice roads can damage the paint on your car and cause damaged areas to prematurely corrode. If you live in a region where snow and ice are just a regular part of winter, you may want to consider adding paint protection services to your list of things to do when getting your vehicle ready for the winter.
Protecting the paint on your vehicle from all the harsh chemicals that are used on roadways is a great way to preserve the value of your vehicle. A body shop will have options that can seal the paint on your vehicle and ensure that it can easily withstand the rigors of winter weather. Paint sealant can restore the luster of your paint and improve the aesthetics as well as protect it.
Being proactive about preventing damage to the body of your car can prolong the life of your car. Protecting your paint protects your vehicle investment and can improve resale value. Of course, it will also give you peace of mind as you commute through the slush.
7. Reduce Glare
Tinting auto windows before winter can offer various benefits that contribute to both your comfort and the well-being of your vehicle. One of the primary purposes of securing affordable window tinting services for your vehicle before winter hits is to reduce glare while you are driving. The sun reflecting off the snow and ice can increase the amount of glare on the road.
Driver safety can be enhanced with window tinting. By reducing the amount of glare, you are taking proactive steps to ensure your vision is not impaired when driving in the winter. Window tint can also enhance your vehicles comfort. Even in winter, UV rays can penetrate the atmosphere and cause damage to your skin and the vehicle’s interior. Tinted windows block a significant portion of these rays.
Tinted windows help regulate the interior temperature of your vehicle. During winter, window tinting acts as an insulator, trapping heat inside and reducing the need for excessive use of the heater. This can contribute to a more comfortable driving experience and may also lead to fuel savings. Additionally, it adds a layer of security by making it more challenging for potential thieves to see valuables inside. Overall window tinting is a great way to get your vehicle ready for the winter.
8. Diesel Care
Preparing a diesel-run vehicle for winter is essential to ensure reliable performance in cold temperatures. If your diesel truck is having some minor problems getting your vehicle ready for the winter is an excellent time to have diesel truck repair services diagnose the problem and make the repairs. It’s best to address any minor problems now before the winter is in full swing.
Be sure to use a winter-grade diesel fuel that contains additives to prevent fuel gelling. Winter diesel is designed to withstand lower temperatures and prevent the fuel from thickening, which can impede proper engine function. Glow plugs are crucial for diesel engines during cold starts. Have the glow plug system checked to ensure proper functioning. If you notice issues with starting, consider replacing faulty glow plugs. If your diesel vehicle has 4WD, test it to ensure proper functionality. This can be valuable for improved traction in winter driving conditions.
If your diesel vehicle is equipped with an engine block heater, ensure it’s in good working condition. Cold temperatures can make belts and hoses more prone to cracking and damage. Check the condition of all belts and hoses and replace any that show signs of wear. Using the block heater helps warm the engine for easier starts in cold weather. Getting your diesel vehicle ready for the winter now will ensure that you don’t run into problems in the middle of the winter.
9. Special Care
Each make, and model of vehicle has its own needs. When you are getting your vehicle ready for the winter it’s essential that you get some specific manufacturer recommended care done for your vehicle. For example, if you drive a German car, you should follow the guidelines for German car repair using a shop that specializes in German car care. In other words, your specific vehicle make and model may need specific vehicle care that is not listed here.
The best way to determine how to get your personal car ready for the winter is to consult with your owner’s manual. If you can’t find your owner’s manual, you can likely find it online. Of course, you can always take your vehicle to an auto shop that specializes in your make and model, and they will know what to do to get your vehicle ready for the winter.
It’s important that you follow manufacturer’s recommendations for car care. Even a slight diversion from the recommended care can result in costly repairs. Following the manufacturer’s recommendations will ensure that your car remains reliable.
10. Final Tips
There are other less obvious repairs that you may find your vehicle needs before the winter including cylinder repair. Ensuring that your vehicle’s cylinders are in good condition before winter is essential for optimal engine performance in cold weather. A compression test on each cylinder can reveal low compression problems.
Other things that you should have checked include checking the fuel injectors and ensure that the fuel system is clean and functioning correctly. Proper fuel delivery is essential for combustion. Verify that the antifreeze/coolant is at the correct level and concentration. This helps prevent freezing and protects the engine in cold temperatures.
Cold weather can strain the battery. Ensure it’s in good condition and terminals are clean and connected securely. Ensure that all the components on your vehicle are in good working condition. Getting your vehicle ready for the winter is essential to ensure that you have reliable transportation during the winter months and beyond.
The winter can be a treacherous time on the road. The cold weather, snow, ice, can put some wear and tear on your vehicle. Taking steps to prepare your vehicle properly will improve safety, protect your investment, and ensure your vehicle remains reliable. Learn more about how getting your vehicle ready for the winter.