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Car Maintenance >> Fall-Winter

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How To Winterize Your Car

The winter months are upon us and this season can really be hard on cars. You should do a little bit of preventative maintenance to help your car make it through the winter months with out a glitch.

This is a good time to check out your car's emergency kit as well. You do not want to get stuck somewhere in this weather, but if you should, you will need a few things to help until you are able to get home.

Check your car's windshield wiper fluid and fill it up if it is needed. Keep some fluid in your trunk in case you need to add more. In the winter you will use more than you normally do. Be prepared to clean a lot of road salt off your windshield.


Check your car's radiator system and if needed fill up or replace the Antifreeze/Coolant.

Check the windshield wiper blades. They will be put to the test this winter season, wiping rain, leaves, snow and ice off your windshield. Make sure they are up to the test. If they are old, or worn, make sure to replace them.

Check your tires. The cold air causes air to contract and they may be a little low. Also check your treads, if your tires are worn you should get some new ones. Driving in snow and ice will be much safer if your tires are in good condition. Some people change in the winter to snow tires. As long as we are talking tires, make sure to check your spare. If you like to put snow tires on your car, now is the time to do it. Make sure you have a jack in the trunk of your car.

Check your brakes and make sure they are functioning to their optimum level. You will need them this winter. Roads will be slippery, wet and possibly icy, you want your brakes to be able to handle all the stopping you may have to do on roads that may be in poor condition.

Check your battery. It will have a heavy load put on it with the cold months ahead. If it looks like the connections need cleaning do it. If your battery is older that 3 to 4 years, you may want to replace it, or have it recharged. Batteries drain much faster in the cold weather and if it is old, it may not be able to start your car up.

Three important systems to check at this time of year are your lights, your heating system and your defrosters. You will use these systems more during the winters than any other season. It is always smart to check them before the very cold months are here.

You should always allow your car to warm up in the winter before you start to drive. You also should keep your gas levels higher than usual when it is very cold out. This will help prevent moisture from building up in the gas lines, and freezing.

Now that you have your car check list ready, here is a list of items you may want to have in your trunk to use in case of an emergency.

Ice Scraper
Snow Brush
Windshield De-Icer
Lock De-Icer
Kitty Litter or Sand to use under tires in case you get stuck in snow
Small Snow Shovel
Blanket, Gloves, Boots
Snacks, Water
Flares
Jumper Cables





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