As thermometers across Missouri and the Midwest plummet, it’s time our vehicles received a little extra TLC.
Just like winter effects your body – your skin may dry out, you require extra clothes to stay warm, or you need medications to fight off the flu – your car needs attention as well when it gets cold.
Every year thousands of people are stranded on the road during the cold winter months. Often, these breakdowns could have been prevented if certain precautions were taken. Read the list below for suggestions on keeping your vehicle running as smoothly as possible this winter:
- Wiper blades and fluid. During the severely cold months, your wiper fluid can actually freeze. To avoid this problem, one suggestion is to use 16 ounces of Isopropyl Alcohol to one gallon of windshield washer fluid.
- Antifreeze. It’s vital to ensure that you have enough antifreeze to keep your engine from freezing during the winter. The additive also acts as the key agent in providing heat inside the car’s cabin. The engine cooling system should contain a 50/50 mixture of distilled water and antifreeze to prevent freezing and overheating.
- Battery. Car batteries can die any time of the year, but they are especially prone during the frigid winter months. If you can keep your car in the garage during extreme cold temperatures, it can help your battery last longer. Another tip is to start your car before driving and let your battery warm up.
- Heater. No one wants to be without a properly working heater during the winter. Don’t wait until the first cold spell to get yours checked out. The end of summer and early fall are appropriate times to make sure you have properly working heat.
- Brakes. How much life is left on your front and rear brakes? Icy roads are not a good place to find out if your brakes are working poorly. You need to be able to come to a secure and sudden stop if necessary, so have your brakes checked before the temperature plummets.
- Defroster. There are mornings when defrosting will be necessary in order to drive, so this feature should be working properly.
- Tires. Tread on tires is vital at all times of the year but especially during winter. You may have to come to a sudden stop, and tread is important for avoiding rear-end accidents. It’s recommended that tread depth be at least 4/32. Using snow tires may even be necessary depending on your location. Also, keep a close eye on tire pressure, as it fluctuates often in the winter months.
- Exterior. Road salt – often placed on the roads to help with slick black ice – can be damaging to the paint on your vehicle and cause rust. If you have been through a lot of it, make sure to rinse off the bottom of your car.
- Jumper cables and gloves. Keep both your trunk in case of an emergency.
If you live in Fulton, Missouri or nearby, contact Callaway Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram to schedule a winter maintenance appointment. We can ensure that your vehicle is ready to perform at its maximum potential this winter.