Winter Service Tips To Save Time And Money
You may not think about getting your car ready for winter living in sunny San Diego. However, spending some time preparing your car for winter not only can help prevent a breakdown or accident, but it can also save you money on repair costs and gas. We put together a few quick and easy winter service tips. Some things you can do yourself, while others require a trained service technician. All will save you money down the road.
1. Get a tune-up
If you’re due for a tune-up, schedule one in the fall. Cold winter weather magnifies existing problems such as hard starts, and sluggish performance. Check your owner’s manual for the tune-up schedule and follow it.
2. Change the fluids.
Six different fluids should be changed before the colder winter temperatures come. These include brake system fluid, coolant, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, washer fluid, and suspension differential fluid.
3. Change your oil and oil filters.
Regular oil changes prevent overheating and buildup of grime. Changing the oil also helps with fuel efficiency and reduces the possibility of engine failure.
4. Check your brakes.
Brakes are your car’s most important safety system. Test your brakes before the cold and rainy weather, and make sure to get your brakes and brake fluid checked. Replace brake pads if necessary, so you’ll be able to stop, even on slippery winter roads.
Ask your service advisor to check the emergency brake as well. Even if your brake pads are good, the cables or mechanical elements can seize or break, especially if they are unused.
5. Clean and check your car battery.
Cold weather is hard on batteries. Have the battery and charging system checked for optimum performance each fall. It’s especially important because so many computerized safety systems run off battery power.
6. Make sure your heater and defroster still work.
Check the heater and defroster in the fall, before you need them, to determine if they are working properly. If they’re not, get them fixed ASAP.
Check the heated seats, too, if your car has them.
7. Replace windshield wiper blades.
As a general rule, wiper blades should be replaced every six months. If yours have been leaving patches on your windshield, replace them now before the cold weather stiffens the rubber even more.
It’s also a good idea to check the rubber seals around your car’s doors and windows.
8. Test your headlights.
Shorter days in winter lead to more driving in the dark, using your headlights. Check that your car’s exterior and interior lights and headlights work and are properly aimed. If headlights seem to be less powerful than they used to be, clean them. Use only a special cleaner that won’t scratch the finish.
9. Prep car tires for winter.
To prepare your car wheels for winter, plan to rotate tires in the fall, for more even wear and a more comfortable ride.
In winter, tire pressure should be checked weekly. Always check tire pressure in the driveway. And don’t forget to test the spare, too, especially if you’ve been lucky and haven’t needed it for a while.
10. Check the exhaust system.
Check your car for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed. A detector made for vehicles will alert you to problems.
11. Keep your gas tank full.
When winter comes, keep the gas tank at least half full at all times to reduce the chance of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing.
12. Put together a winter emergency kit.
Planning a road trip to go skiing or snowboarding? Make sure you have a winter survival kit in your car in case things don't go as planned! It only takes a few minutes to gather most of these items and they could save your life!
Your kit should include blankets, socks, hats, mittens to keep you and your passengers warm. A source of heat like a can heater or multiple wick candle - don't forget matches or a lighter! Water and a metal container suitable for melting snow into drinking water. Food - such as hard candy, energy bars, nuts, and raisins. And don’t forget a bright red or orange cloth and whistle to signal for help, and an AM/FM radio plus a flashlight - both with new batteries!
Other lifesavers? A shovel, a good spare tire, jumper cables, tire chains, road flares, and a small tool kit can become your lifesavers if a bad situation comes around!
We want all of our drivers to be safe this winter season. Mossy Nissan can help you get ready with a free multi-point inspection. We wish you a safe holiday and winter season this year!