Winter Care Car Checklist
There's a good reason car manufacturers and suppliers test new vehicles in Minnesota during the coldest winter months. Our weather will quickly expose any flaws in the design of a battery, tire, starter, and other mechanical systems. Winter is just as unforgiving when it comes to vehicle maintenance. It's only a matter of time before lack of regular maintenance causes something to malfunction, and the first below freezing day is often the tipping point that causes things to break.
Before the cold weather strikes, take a moment to review the winter care care checklist from the experts at Parkway Auto Care. Winterizing your car will not only keep you and your family safe by avoiding an unexpected breakdown, you'll also save money by not wasting fuel an ensure your car lives a long, reliable life.
Cold weather puts a strain on a car's battery. The reason is cold engines and motor oil create more resistance and therefore take more energy to start. Have your battery tested to ensure it has the power to start reliably. Check the terminals for corrosion and clean them if needed to ensure a good connection.
When temperature drop below freezing tire pressure will also drop. Low tire pressure will not only reduce your gas milage, it can also cause premature tire wear and affect handling and make your wheels more vulnerable to damage from pot holes. We recommend checking your tire pressure once a week, or whenever you gas up.
Testing has shown that when tire tread is 50 percent worm and roads are wet, acceleration can drop 15 percent and braking distances around 7 percent. With lower tire tread, perfromance can quickly drop to unsafe levels. On snow and ice covered surfaces having good tire tread is essential.
The quarter test is fast way to check if a tire's tread is above the safe level. The top of George’s head should be visible when placed head first in a tread groove, which is about 4/32-inch depth. If it's at the top of the head or above, it's time to start shopping for new tires.
Cold and wet weather and salt covered roads can reduce the performance of your brakes. Always allow extra stopping distance and have your brake pads, rotors and fluid inspected following your car manufacturer's guidelines.
✓ Wiper Blades
Early fall is the best time to replace your wiper blades. Once the cold and ice hits, wiper blades that worked fine in warm weather can degrade quickly and make visibility more difficult, especially with shorter days and the sun lower in the sky.
Ensure that all your fluids, including oil, transmission, power steering, brake and wiper fluid, etc. For vehicles with a rear wiper, the washer reservoir is often located in the rear of the vehicle.
Need winter maintenance for your car, truck or SUV? Give Parkway Auto Care a call today. We offer a comprehensive winter car care service that will get you through the toughest Minnesota winter.