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Main Street Mechanic, Established 2005

November Car Care Checklist and Winterizing Tips


It seems like we blinked and winter arrived! While temperatures are still higher than average, we’re only a week away from Thanksgiving and about 5 weeks away from Christmas. It won’t be long before temperatures drop, the snow arrives, and winter is here to stay until spring. With the holidays coming up, there will be a lot of people on the road traveling to family and friends. We want to make sure you and your vehicle are ready to safely and reliably get you to all your Thanksgiving feasts, family gatherings, and last minute trips to the grocery store. Safety is the top priority and when road conditions are less than optimal, we want to make sure you’re not caught off guard!

Get An Inspection

We are currently offering a $9.99 Stop and Go Inspection – a $47 value! Bring in your vehicle and we’ll inspect your brakes, battery, and alternator for just $9.99. It’s critical to check your engine, your battery, your oil, the fluid levels, your belts and hoses, your brakes, and your tires to ensure they are ready for winter. Cold weather causes air pressure in tires to drop, reduces the effectiveness of your oil, wears down the battery, and weakens belts and hoses. An inspection by a professional is the best way to ensure your vehicle is safe for the wintery roads ahead.

Emergency Car Kit

If your vehicle ever breaks down and you find yourself stranded, having the right items in the car can make all the difference – and potentially save your life. Make sure to have a least a gallon of water per person. Pack food that will last for a long time – energy bars, beef jerky, apple sauce, crackers, dried fruit, etc. These can also come in handy whenever you’re out and about and just need an extra snack to keep you going. Make sure you also pack flares, blankets, hand and foot warmers, a car jack, and jumper cables. These essential items can help you get through a worst case scenario and you’ll be so glad you planned ahead!

Check Your Tires

Having sufficient tread depth is important to controlling your ride and avoiding slipping, sliding, and losing control of your vehicle. The classic penny test can help you measure your thread – though we always recommend getting it checked by a professional. Tread depth is the distance measured from the deepest part of your tire’s groove to the top of the tread block. Tread provides traction to your vehicle. Perform a penny test by placing a penny into the tread groove with Lincoln’s head upside down. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, the tires are completely worn out and need to be replaced stat. If his entire head is covered, your tires still have more than 2/32nds of the tread, which is ideal. When you tire tread is below 4/32nds, safety and performance is diminished and it’s time to reconsider upgrading your tires. If you’re not sure what tires to get, give our shop a call or swing by and we can talk you through your options!

Keep Tire Pressure At Optimal Levels

Your vehicle’s tires should always be inflated to their ideal PSI. The PSI for your vehicle’s tires is usually found on the driver’s door jamb, inside your owner’s manual, or on the tire itself. Ideal tire inflation will enable your ride to have the best control of your vehicle and a comfortable ride.

Cold weather can significantly affect tire pressure, causing it to deflate overnight. Tire pressure should be checked in the morning before you drive your vehicle to get an accurate reading. Make sure to keep a dependable, high quality pressure gauge on hand to monitor your tire pressure regularly. In addition to your breaks, your tires are the most important safety feature on your vehicle. Proper tire inflation support proper steering, traction, and shock absorption. Tire pressure affects safety, comfort, longevity, and fuel efficiency as well. Over inflation can cause premature tire wear and a rough ride, while under inflation will also break down tires faster and increase fuel usage.

Top Off Fluids

We can’t overstate the importance of maintaining proper fluid levels. They play a vital role in almost every function of your vehicle, especially when it comes to fuel efficiency and longevity.

Engine components spin thousands of reps per minute and the engine oil plays a starring role of ensuring the engine parts stay lubricated and able to move in unison. Of all your vehicle fluids, the engine oil is most important. Make sure to get your oil change every 3,000 – 5,000 miles.

Transmission fluid lubricates and cools key components of the transmission including clutches, gears, and valves. Transmission fluid needs replaced a lot less than the other fluids – often every 100,000 miles – but it’s a good idea to check your transmission fluid regularly.

Coolant/antifreeze  keeps the engine cool in the summer and prevents it from freezing in the winter. Make sure to top off your coolant and test it every 50,000 miles to see if it needs to be flushed and replaced.

Brake fluid tends to go down as your brake pads wear. If it falls below the minimum indicator, add some fluid and make sure to have your brakes checked. Windshield washer fluid can often be overlooked and neglected. If you use your windshield wipers frequently, check your windshield fluid whenever you stop to fill up with gas.

Understanding how to monitor and test your cars components and prepare for the winter ahead can provide peace of mind and significantly increase the safety and longevity of your vehicle. Before the harsh weather arrives, make sure your vehicle is well serviced and stocked for the challenges of winter. Routine vehicle maintenance is important year-round, but especially before the winter months. Weather has a huge impact on the functionality of your vehicle, and servicing your vehicle becomes even more critical during the colder time of year. Our shop is open M-F and offers a free customer shuttle. We also have late and early drop off, a comfy waiting room with WiFi, and loaner cars available to make vehicle maintenance and repair as convenient as possible. Call or stop by (walk-ins are always welcome!) for any questions, concerns, or vehicle service you need! Thank you for allowing us to serve you and help keep you and your family safe.

Box CarMain Street Mechanic

Phone

801-756-2661

Hours

Mon-Fri
7:30 AM - 6 PM

Address

337 West Main Street
American Fork, UT 84003

Email

carexperts@mainstreetmechanic.com