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Car Maintenance >> Fall-Winter

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Don't Be Left in the Cold

(NewsUSA) - The first signs of car trouble often arrive with the first signs of winter. Sluggish performance, rough idling, difficult starts or occasional pings are potential warnings for problems that will more than likely get worse as it gets colder. So, in an effort to keep you safe this winter, Firestone Complete Auto Care offers the following advice to help prevent your vehicle from leaving you out in the cold.

Get Inspected: When a new season approaches, use it as a reminder to take your vehicle to your automotive technician for an inspection. The following items should top your cold-weather inspection: the battery, battery cables, battery terminals, air filter, windshield wipers, lights, turn signals and all fluid levels. Also, be sure to have your technician carefully inspect your belts, hoses, heating and cooling system and exhaust system.

Be Prepared: Prepare for winter weather by storing emergency supplies in your vehicle. Must-haves include: a spare tire, an ice scraper, a flashlight, warm clothing, candles and matches, a blanket, bottled water, snacks and a cell phone with a car charger.

A container of sand or kitty litter can also come in handy when trying to gain traction in snow or on a patch of ice. It is also important to keep your fuel tank filled.

Safely Rolling: Stopping on wet, winter roads can take up to four times the normal stopping distance. If your tread is worn, tires may hydroplane and skim over the surface of the road with little or no traction.

To test your vehicle's tire tread, administer the penny test. If you can see the top of Lincoln's head after you insert the penny into the tire tread, your tire tread may be too worn.

Stay Inflated: In addition to checking the tire tread, it is also important to check your tire inflation at least once a month. As the temperature begins to drop, so can the pressure in your vehicle's tires. With every 10-degree drop in temperature, your tires lose one pound per square inch in air pressure. By keeping your tires properly inflated, you will improve your vehicle's traction on the slick streets.

For more information about winter driving or safety tips, visit www.FirestoneCompleteAutoCare.com.





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