Have your mechanic tackle these winter preparation tasks:
* Make sure all oil, gas and air filters are in good condition.
* Replace or charge the battery. In the case of a sudden drop in temperature or lights being left on, a strong battery will still hold its charge. If your car doesn’t have running lights, it’s important to turn lights on whether it’s dark or not. Improving your visibility to other drivers helps in every situation.
* Check antifreeze levels and temperatures. Replace with fresh coolant if necessary. If you do this yourself, make sure to clean up any spilled fluid to protect children or pets from poisoning.
* Check the tires’ tread depth and air pressure. Consider all-season radials or even snow tires if the situation calls for them.
Once the mechanic’s check is done, there are several steps you can do on your own to ensure you’re set for winter:
* Check that all lights, heater and defrosters are working properly.
* Make sure your windshield washer fluid is filled with fluid that can handle freezing temperatures. Carry extra fluid with you, in case of extra-slushy roads.
* Regularly wash and wax your car, making sure to get the undercarriage where build up of road slush and salts can cause rust.
* Vacuum and shampoo interior carpet and upholstery regularly. Consider putting down extra floor mats to protect the car’s original carpet from salt and grime. The Catch All product line from Lund International’s Nifty brand provides protection for trucks, SUVs and even car interiors. Styles vary from lush OE nylon carpeting to the Nifty Extreme Catch-All which is made of Xynet, a custom molded thermoplastic material. The Extreme Catch-All resists water, snow, mud, grease and chemicals. Easy to install, the mat fits over the truck’s factory-installed carpeting and comes with a lifetime guarantee against cracking, splitting or breaking.
* You never know when you’ll need to pull over due to poor driving conditions. Prepare a safety kit to be kept in the trunk during winter months. Include water (remove upon leaving vehicle so it doesn’t freeze), healthy snacks, a warm blanket, heavy jacket and boots, hat and gloves, flares, jumper cables, a radio with fresh batteries, and a deck of cards. If you are in your vehicle for a long time, only run the engine periodically to heat the vehicle and save gas. Remember to crack the windows for fresh air to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
* Consider storage for your stowage area. Whenever possible, place items inside a sturdy box or bag before placing them inside your vehicle to prevent spillage. Cargo Logic Cargo Area Protectors cover up the carpet to keep salt, dirt and wetness from spoiling your gear and keep the interior nice. Cargo Loks help to keep items from tipping and rolling around.
To learn more about products to protect your vehicle’s interior this winter and to find a location near you, log on to www.lundinternational.com, click on “Find a Dealer” and select the Nifty brand.