With winter just around the corner, it’s important to start taking additional care of your vehicle in order to properly prepare for the ice and snow. Taking these simple steps can help make your winter driving experience more pleasant.
- Check your battery: Keep the battery connections clean, tight and corrosion-free. Cold weather is very harsh on batteries, so it’s important to check the battery and if you don’t have a way to test it, most auto service centers will have a way to check it for you. If your battery is more than three years old, it may be time to replace it.
- HVAC system and wiper blades: These are all important tools in snow removal and visibility in the cold months. You’ll want to check that your heating system is working properly. In addition to comfort, heating can play a huge role in safety, as it aids heavily in defrosting. Make sure wiper blades aren’t torn or cracked and test them to see that they are working appropriately.
- Brakes: Check your brake pads, making sure they have plenty of surface area remaining. This includes the brake lines, fluid, rotors and drums (if applicable). Brakes are crucial to safe driving in icy conditions.
- Tires: Having tires with appropriate tread is the biggest safety precaution you can take. If you switch between summer tires and winter tires, now is the time to do so. Tires with the appropriate tread made for ice and snow will give you significantly more traction and will help prevent sliding. Check the tread depth and tire pressure. If the tread is low, you will probably need to replace the tires. Uneven wear indicates you may need a wheel alignment or balance.
- General Inspection: Bring your vehicle in for a general inspection at your trusted offroad shop or 4×4 mechanic. Nothing is worse than being stuck on the side of the highway in the middle of winter.