Here are three easy steps to follow:
1. Schedule an appointment with your mechanic.
When you bring your vehicle in for its fall or winter checkup, your mechanic may recommend a number of services to prepare your vehicle for the season, such as brakes, battery condition, oil and filters, hoses and belts. Two of the most critical items to check are anti-freeze and tires. Your technician can recommend the minimum temperature threshold for your area, and add anti-freeze as needed. Tire condition is even more important during the winter months. Remember the “Penny Rule”: Insert a penny upside down in your tread groove; if you can see all of Mr. Lincoln’s head, it’s time to change your tires!
2. Put together an emergency kit.
If you don’t have one already, put together a winter emergency kit. It should contain tools you can use to get out of a bind – such as adjustable wrenches that will allow you to make low-level repairs, jumper cables, a jack, air pump and flashlight. You’ll also need a first aid kit to treat any injuries that may occur in an accident. And in case you get stranded, carry canned or non-perishable food items and a can opener, a few gallons of clean water and enough warm blankets to cover up the entire family.
3. Take steps to protect your vehicle’s interior.
Fall/winter will bring with it mud, slush, dirt, salt and grime, all things that are hard to get out of the carpet. Protect your investment by upgrading your floor mats.
“Taking care of carpeting is probably one of the most overlooked aspects of vehicle maintenance,” says Frank Turner of Lund International, makers of automotive accessories. “It’s not there just for looks. It insulates the interior of the car, helps reduce road noise and protects the metal flooring beneath it.”
The experts at Lund International offer the following tips for protecting your vehicle’s interior from the wear and tear of the winter months:
* Whenever possible, shake excess dirt, mud and snow off your shoes before getting into the vehicle. This minimizes cleanup and helps protect the carpeting.
* Vacuum and shampoo regularly. Frequent vacuuming helps remove loose dirt before it becomes ingrained in the nap of the carpet. Shampooing or steam cleaning will help remove any built-up dirt and stains.
* Upgrade your standard issue floor mats with a more heavy-duty option.
Lund International’s Nifty brand offers The Catch All product line which provides protection for trucks, SUVs and even car interiors. Styles vary from plush OE nylon carpeting to the Nifty Extreme Catch-All which is made of Xynet, a custom molded thermoplastic material. Both styles resist water, snow, mud, grease and chemicals, are easy to install, and offer easy, take-out/hose-off convenience The mats fit over factory-installed carpeting and come with a lifetime guarantee against cracking, splitting or breaking.
* Enhance and protect your vehicle’s trunk or rear storage area.
Whenever possible, place items inside a sturdy box or bag before placing them inside your vehicle to prevent spillage. It would also be a good idea to put a Lund Cargo Logic Cargo Area Protector over the carpet to keep salt, dirt and wetness from spoiling your interior. The included Cargo Loks, which Velcro right to the mat, can be used to help keep items from tipping and rolling around.
To learn more about products to protect your vehicle’s interior, visit www.LundInternational.com.