Here are some tips from the experts at ASE for getting your vehicle ready for winter.
* Read your owner's manual and follow the manufacturer's service intervals.
* Replace worn wiper blades and keep plenty of washer fluid on hand to fight road salt, grit and other grime.
* Replace worn tires with all-season radials or snow tires as conditions warrant.
* Don't forget to check the spare tire and jack.
* Have a qualified auto technician check the condition of your battery and cables, the radiator, and all hoses and belts.
* Make certain the heater and defroster are in good working condition. Have the exhaust system examined for leaks, a potentially deadly condition in closed vehicles.
* Carry emergency gear: flares, boots, gloves, ice scraper, high-energy snacks, a blanket, shovel, flashlight, tire chains, a few tools and a cell phone.
If you are not a do-it-yourselfer, find a repair shop with a courteous staff, qualified technicians and modern equipment. Look for repair facilities that employ ASE-certified automotive technicians to do those jobs you cannot or do not want to perform.
ASE is a nonprofit, independent organization dedicated to improving the quality of automotive service and repair through the voluntary testing and certification of automotive technicians. ASE-certified technicians wear blue and white ASE shoulder insignia and carry credentials listing their exact areas of certification. Their employers often display the blue and white ASE sign.
For a free brochure with winter maintenance tips, send a self-addressed, stamped, business-sized envelope to: ASE Winter Brochure, Dept. NUW-203, 101 Blue Seal Drive, Suite 101, Leesburg, VA 20175. Visit www.asecert.org for more information.