With November comes colder weather, black ice, snow, hail, and more. Read this article for driving tips to keep you and your family safe and your vehicle driving smoothly.
Avoid postponing car care, tune-ups, and inspections until it’s too late. The worst place to find out your vehicle isn’t winter ready is in the middle of a snowstorm. When your battery gives out, or your tires cause you to skid off the road, or your wipers stop working leaving you driving blind through a mountain of snow, you’ll wish you had stopped by the mechanic sooner rather than later. Between now and December 15, you can take advantage of our $9.99 Winter Inspection coupon (normally $49). We’ll inspect your brakes, battery, and alternator for just $9.99. We’re also offering $15 off an oil change and $10 off a coolant flush, allowing you to save $$$ all while ensuring your vehicle is safe and ready for the cold winter ahead!
Below we’ve listed out the 12 most important things to check as winter turns colder and the snowstorms head our way.
1. Check your lights
The sun sets earlier in the winter and the daylight hours are much shorter. If your headlights are foggy or yellow, consider replacing them. Make sure to replace any dead bulbs.
2. Maintain your battery
Batteries have a tough time operating in cold weather. Have a volt test performed on your battery to make sure it’s still in working order. If you’ve experienced any trouble with your battery lately, make sure to have it inspected and replaced if needed.
3. Flush and fill your coolant
Coolant (aka antifreeze) keeps your engine from freezing in cold temperatures. Make sure your coolant is clean and filled properly and that there aren’t any leaks in the coolant system.
4. Top off gasoline
Always keep your gasoline above half full in the winter and keep an extra tank of gas in the trunk if possible. The last thing you want to do is run out of gas in the middle of a white out blizzard.
5. Top off your washer fluid
Between snow and salt on the road, windshields can get dirty fast. Keep your windshield and vision clear as you drive by making sure you have plenty of washer fluid to last you throughout the winter.
6. Invest in winter tires
Winter tires are considered a must in any area where temperatures regularly drop before 45 degrees. Winter tires stay flexible in colder temperatures, have better traction, and drastically reduce the risk of sliding off the road, skidding, or getting stuck in the snow.
7. Check tire pressure
Make sure that your tires are filled to their ideal pressure levels. Tire pressure drops with air temperature, losing up to one pound per square inch with every 10-degree drop in temperature. Your car will handle less predictably with underinflated tires.
8. Test your defroster
Make sure your defroster is working properly. Foggy windows that can’t be cleared can quickly cause discomfort, poor visibility, and safety issues.
9. Check your heater
Your climate control system keeps you both comfortable and safe as you travel through freezing temperatures. Test your heater out to make sure it’s working, heats up quickly, and isn’t producing any odd sounds or smells that may signal an issue somewhere in the system.
10. Pack a survival kit
While the goal is to avoid getting stuck in cold weather somewhere, it’s always best to have a survival kit on hand for worst case scenarios. Include food, water, warm blankets, a first aid kit, a knife, a flashlight, jumper cables, a cellphone charger, a lighter, tissue paper, flares, and possibly hand warmers.
11. Check your exhaust system
Make sure to inspect for carbon monoxide leaks. These can be an especially dangerous hazard when driving with the windows up all winter.
12. Get an alignment
A winter wheel alignment is just as important as winter tires. Snowbanks, curbs, and potholes are all hard to see and more likely to cause alignment issues throughout the winter. Driving with a poor alignment can reduce vehicle efficiency, decrease driving control on slippery roads, and wear down your vehicle over time.
For just $9.99, you can have all of these components and more fully inspected by professional ASE Certified technicians at Main Street Mechanic in American Fork! We also offer free local rides to work or home and back again. With the most professional and courteous staff in town, we are here to ensure your vehicle drives safely and smoothly all winter long! Call ahead to make an appointment or drop by, walk-ins are always welcome. We have same day appointments available and can often get you in and out same day! Don’t wait until it’s too late. Call Main Street Mechanic today.