It may feel like summer just began, but the colder days are coming soon. Driving in New England during the winter can be treacherous, but a vehicle that is well-equipped for the conditions will ensure you’ll be safer on the road. It’s never too early to begin tackling cold weather auto maintenance tasks, but at the very latest, have your car ready to go by the end of October.
How Can You Prepare Your Car for Winter Driving?
1. Check the Battery
Cold weather can be brutal on car batteries. Check your battery’s charge using an inexpensive voltmeter from the auto parts store; some newer batteries come equipped with built-in meters that tell you the voltage. If you aren’t sure if your battery has enough charge, ask a mechanic to check for you, and if necessary, replace it.
2. Change Your Wiper Blades
In general, wiper blades should be changed every six months. For the colder months, invest in a set of winter blades made from stronger rubber that are capable of pushing winter precipitation off the windshield. While you are at it, refill the washer fluid reservoir with winter washer fluid, and toss an ice scraper and snow brush in the trunk.
3. Inspect Your Tires
Tires with worn-out tread and slippery roads are a dangerous combination. Now’s the time to check for damage, uneven wear, and tread depth (try the “penny test” to see if you have enough tread) and replace your tires as necessary. Confirm the recommended winter tire pressure in the vehicle owner’s manual, and check the tire pressure regularly to ensure it’s at the right level. If you drive on treacherous roads a lot, consider investing in winter or snow tires for extra traction.
4. Prepare an Emergency Kit
No one wants to think about getting stuck in cold weather, but it’s a risk. If you don’t have an emergency kit in your car, now’s the time to prepare one. At a minimum, include a blanket, some extra winter gear (hats and gloves), water, nonperishable snacks, a first aid kit, and a few basic tools and set of jumper cables.
5. Schedule Auto Maintenance
Before the weather turns colder, make an appointment with your mechanic for some basic auto maintenance. This should include an oil change, new filters as needed, and checking the fluid levels as well as the brakes and exhaust. If anything needs repaired or replaced, take care of it now before it becomes a problem.
Beat the rush and get your vehicle ready for winter driving now by scheduling an auto maintenance appointment at Safe Auto Service. This reliable auto repair shop serves Meriden, Middletown, Cheshire, Berlin, and Durham, CT, providing everything from basic maintenance services to wheel alignment, suspension, shock, and strut services, and exhaust repairs. You can count on them for honest, affordable service that will keep your car safe and running well. Call (203) 237-4311 to schedule a service, or visit them online for more information.