If there’s one thing Michiganites understand, it’s frigid winters. With heavy snowfall a regular occurrence, you’ve probably seen what can happen if a vehicle isn’t stocked for extreme weather. Another freezing season doesn’t mean you can’t prepare, however, especially when it comes to your vehicle. Here’s a list of simple steps to keep you and your vehicle running smoothly all season.
Get a Kit
Being stranded in hazardous weather can threaten more than your vehicle; having the necessary tools in case of emergency saves lives. Helpful winter supplies include:
- Jumper cables
- First-aid kit
- Energy or snack bars
- Ice scraper
- Small shovel
- Small knife
- Bag of sand or cat litter
Bald or dry-rotted tires can be a liability any time of year, but especially during winter. Have them inspected and replaced, if necessary. For an added layer of safety, purchase snow or winter tires. Since these come with rubber compounds that resist cold temperatures and deep treads that provide the needed friction for slippery surfaces, they are worth any additional cost.
Remember the Interior
If you spend significant time in the elements, all-weather floor mats can help keep the mud and muck in one location, making cleaning easier. More importantly, to ensure you see clearly in less-than-ideal conditions, keeping interior windows clear of debris and bugs is a good place to start.
Catch Up on Routine Maintenance
Since many people neglect their vehicle in the hustle and bustle of summer activities, fall is the perfect time to catch up. If due, a 60,000-mile tune-up should be the top priority. Otherwise, checking all fluids-oil, transmission, brake fluid and coolant–keeps your system in tip-top shape. In this same vein, check and replace filters, making high-quality your first choice.
Don’t forget the brake system, as your vehicle’s ability to stop effectively takes a hit on slippery roads. Most importantly, check rotors and pads. Are they worn, warped or cracked? If so, having them replaced will improve overall function and reliability. In addition, making sure windshield wipers are new and in good condition and using freeze-resistant wiper fluid will help when visibility is low.
Maintain the Coolant System
A vehicle’s coolant system is one of the biggest areas of concern in cold weather. Any part that comes with so-so reviews needs to be swapped for a newer version. Having the radiator pressure tested and hoses checked for cracks is crucial. Also, replacing the water pump, if the miles exceed the manufacturer’s recommendations, provides an added layer of peace of mind.
For all your vehicle’s needs, remember to call Kirk’s Auto Care at 734-402-8722 today!