Five Tasks to Prepare your Vehicle for Winter Driving

Grease and oil change

Winter is on its way. The temperatures have already begun to drop and some parts of the country have already seen snow. Before the winter season arrives in full force, make sure your vehicle is ready for winter driving conditions. Driving conditions differ significantly from summer and spring conditions, so the following upkeep and maintenance preventative tips are very important.

Change or rotate your tires

While high quality tires are important all year long, they are especially crucial during the winter months. If your tires threading is worn, you will find it harder to stop on icier roads. This can present a very dangerous driving situation. It is best to change out your tires to winter ones. However, if this is not an option, you should at least rotate your tires. When you have your tires rotated, each of the tires is moved to a different location. This causes you to drive on a different part of the tire, likely an area that has more threading.

Repair any windshield cracks

Windshield cracks can occur any time of the year. However, a windshield crack usually means that the integrity of your windshield has been compromised. Because the weather in the winter gets cold and sometimes freezing, it could damage the minor windshield crack to something much more severe. There are six basic types of windshield breaks, surface pit, combination break, half moon, bullseye, crack, and star breaks. Depending on the type of crack in your windshield, you might not require a full glass replacement but it is best to have it looked at.

Schedule an oil change service

Oil changes keep your transmission and engine running properly and efficiently. While you should schedule an oil change more often than once a year, it is a good idea to have it changed before the winter months. You don?t want to experience any auto problems in the cold, so this is a good time to have your oil changed. The exact schedule of oil changes will depend on your vehicle. Most new engines have recommended oil change intervals of 5,000 to 7,500 miles. Older vehicles should have their oil checked every three months or 3,000 miles.

Do a quick wiper replacement

Many vehicle owners never change their windshield wipers. They simply keep the same ones on from the day they bought the vehicle until the day they sell the vehicle. Windshield wipers, however, can and do wear out. When they wear out, they do not work as well and this decreases your ability to safely see out the windshield. A recent survey by the Car Care Council found that approximately 16% of cars needed new windshield wipers. Fortunately, new windshield wipers are very affordable and they can easily be switched out, without bringing your vehicle into an auto service shop.

Schedule a full winter inspection and tune up

Because there are so many parts of the vehicle that should be checked and maintained before winter, it is usually best to just schedule a winter inspection and tune up service. This service includes all winter preparation services like oil change, tire rotations, windshield and wiper inspections, radiator service, and even power steering fluid changes. There are many important components of the vehicle and each of these areas should be fully inspected before winter.

Winter driving is very different from any other season. The roads are full of ice and snow, making it harder and more dangerous to operate a vehicle. Before winter arrives, makes sure your vehicle is prepared and that it is as safe as possible. Schedule a full vehicle inspection and make sure you keep up with the listed updates.

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