Prepare Your Car For Winter with an Automotive Service

September 6, 2011  

Harsh winter driving is just around the corner. Preparing your vehicle for the impending season will help you avoid cold weather hazards. The experts at Everett Automotive Service can help you prepare for winter driving by:

Mechanical Inspection

Everett Automotive Service recommends that you have the following services performed to prepare your vehicle for winter driving:

  • Batteryhave the charge on your battery checked to assure that it will have sufficient charge to not leave you stranded on cold winter days (or worse yet, nights). Keep a portable charger to to maintain charge so the fluids won’t freeze. Note: a drained battery will freeze a 32°F; a fully charged batter will not freeze above -76° F.
  • Electrical System  – the entire electrical system should be fully inspected to assure there is no corrosion.
  • Thermostat – if the thermostat fails, the engine will either overheat (stuck closed) or never heat properly (stuck closed). The thermostat controls the  flow of coolant.
  • Heater & Defroster – if the heater coil is defective, your car will not have heat – BRRRRRRR!!!! But even more importantly, you will not have a defroster. No defroster will allow your windows to fog, freeze and obstruct your vision. It is essential that you have the heating system thoroughly inspected prior to winter to insure proper operation. 
  • Brakes – inspection is necessary to insure safe driving in foul weather conditions.
  • Fluid Levels – have all fluids checked and changed/filled as indicated. 
  • Filters – with fluid changes, have all filters inspected and changed as indicated.
Exterior Service

To be certain your car will be safe for winter driving, there are several items on the exterior of your car that must be inspected as well. Everett Automotive Service technicians will check:

  •  Tires – inspect the tread to assure safe driving in snow. The pressure must be checked and adjusted according to manufacturer’s recommendations. Be certain to have your spare tire inspected as well.
  • Windshield Wipers – generally windshield wiper blades should be replaced at least once a year. Inspecting the blades prior to winter will assure a clean windshield in bad weather. Also be certain that the washer nozzles are clear of wax or other debris.Fill the windshield washer fluid reservoir is full.
  • Exterior Lights – make certain that all exterior lights (headlights, fog lights, brake lights, etc.) are fully operational. Clean the lens of both the head and tail light fixtures to maximize effectiveness of each light.
  • Road Salt Protection – to protect your car’s body and undercarriage, it is strongly advised that you begin the season with a good wax job. Wash the entire car after snow storms to remove remnants of salt.

Tips for Winter

Since the chances of breakdown or accidents is increased with winter weather, you can pack your car to be ready for such instances as follows:

  1.  Always keep at least a half tank of gas in your car to eliminate gumming and make your car easier to  start in cold conditions. You will also avoid the possibility of running out of gas in hazardous weather.
  2. Keep your cell phone charged and with you at all times. Also, invest in a car charger.
  3. Keep a window scraper in your vehicle. Store a collapsible shovel in the trunk for emergencies as well.
  4. Stock your car with an emergency kit: first aid kit; blankets; change of clothes; bottled water; energy bars; flashlights; batteries. This forethought could well save your life if stuck in a snow storm.
  5. Store bags of sand to help provide traction if you get stuck. The extra weight in your trunk of a rear-wheel drive car can also help when driving to counteract the weight of the engine.
  6. Every time is snows, clean your car off completely! Clearing all lights and windows will provide maximum visibility. Cleaning the roof, trunk and hood will avoid snow from sliding onto your windows or blowing to other cars as your car warms up and the snow melts.