* Oil. In cold climates, you'll need to switch to winter-grade oil.
* Cooling System. The cooling system should be flushed and refilled as recommended. The level, condition and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. A 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water is usually recommended. Never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled. The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps and hoses should be checked by a professional.
* Battery. The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment. To care for your battery, scrape away corrosion from posts and cable connections; clean all surfaces, and retighten all connections. Avoid contact with corrosive deposits and battery acid. Wear eye protection and rubber gloves.
* Tires. Worn tires will be of little use in winter weather. Examine tires for remaining tread life, uneven wearing and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. Check tire pressure once a month. Rotate as recommended. Don't forget your spare and be sure the jack is in good condition.
* Emergencies. Carry gloves, boots, blankets, flares, a small shovel, sand or kitty litter, tire chains, a flashlight, and a cell phone. Put a few "high-energy" snacks in your glove box.
The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence was founded in 1972 as 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 a 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.
Visit www.ase.com for more information.
Media Release Date: 9/24/03