Prep Your Vehicle for the Winter Weather

With winter quickly creeping up on us, it would be foolish to try to head into the cold winter season without properly preparing your vehicle. Performing a car care check is essential to safe driving and travelling in the winter. Winter driving can certainly be a bit of a challenge and struggle, but with proper routine maintenance and care, your vehicle will be ready to handle it all.

Before heading out to drive this fall and winter, take some time to perform these typical recommended service repairs to prep your vehicle for winter:

  • Vehicle InspectionsIf you are having any type of engine performance problems such as rough idling, lessened power, hard starts, or consistent stalling, get these problems resolved at a reputable vehicle repair shop. The bitter cold weather will only enhance these problems, so it is important to resolve them well in advance of the frigid winter temperatures.
  • Necessary for protecting your engine, routine oil and filter changes should be performed on your vehicle and especially if the driving you do consists of excessive stop and go actions and frequent short travels. This is one of the most important services for providing added protection to your vehicle’s engine.
  • Make certain that all your filters are clean and changed, including your air, fuel and PCV filters. Again, this is essential for an effectively running engine and contributes to efficiency and less burning of gasoline.
  • In anticipation of the below freezing temperatures, adding a bottle of fuel de-icer in your tank at least once per month will help keep any moisture in your fuel line from freezing. Also, keep your gas tank filled to avoid any moisture from forming.
  • Ensure that your defroster and the heating system are all working properly. You definitely don’t want to get caught without any of them when temperatures are below freezing, and you are driving in a snow storm of any type.
  • Be sure to have all your vehicle drive belts, hoses and clamps inspected and replaced if necessary by a professional mechanic or technician.
  • Make certain to replace your old windshield wiper blades. In addition, be sure to keep windshield wiper fluid on hand since we all use excessive amounts of it during the winter season. Further, be sure to put an ice scraper in your vehicle in advance of that first snowfall.
  • Replace any burnt out bulbs you may have and periodically clean the lenses of your headlights as well.
  • Have your exhaust system inspected for any leaks or problems. You don’t want exhaust fumes to make their way into your car’s cabin. This, of course, can be deadly.
  • Inspect your battery. If you see corrosion on the posts or cable connections, remove it. If you believe your battery may be weak, have it tested by a professional. You surely don’t want to get stuck with a dead battery when the temperatures fall below zero.
  • Have a thorough inspection of your brakes performed. With all the snow, ice and freezing temperatures you don’t want to find yourself unable to stop or slow down during hazardous driving conditions.
  • Examine your tires to see how much tread life they have left. Look for uneven wearing or cupping and check the sidewalls for any nicks or cuts. Check your tire pressure regularly and if necessary have your tires rotated or purchase new tires altogether. Also, ensure that you have a spare tire on hand and a working jack as well.
  • Finally, always carry an emergency roadside kit with you. The ideal emergency kit would include flares, flashlight with batteries, a blanket, gloves, and boots, a bit of sand and a shovel, a cell phone charger and even some protein snacks.

Yes, winter can be a bit of a challenge, but if you take time out to prep your vehicle for winter and make certain to have an emergency kit on board at all times then your vehicle problems and downtime should be minimal to none this season. And don’t forget, if you find you are unable to perform any of these service tasks or need any type of vehicle repairs, then the folks here at Auto Clinic of Franklin are the perfect team for you. Contact our expert technicians and schedule your seasonal maintenance service now so you don’t get caught out in the cold this winter. We look forward to providing you with all your vehicle repair and service needs and extend wishes for a very safe and happy holiday season!!


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