Though it is a smart decision to properly prepare your car before any road trip, it is extremely important to give your vehicle the car it needs before embarking on a trip during the winter months. Winter precipitation can cause hazardous driving conditions, and extreme temperatures can make being stranded even for a few hours can be dangerous. Here are a few tasks you need to complete before embarking on your winter journey.
1. Have All of Your Car's Fluids Checked
You need to check that all of your car's fluids are the appropriate levels, including your windshield wiper fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid, and anti freeze. The age of your existing fluids should also be taken into consideration.
Some fluids need to be replaced when they are too old, even if the levels appear sufficient. For this reason, you may want to have a mechanic tackle this chore.
One such fluid where age is important is the brake fluid. If your brake fluid is dark and black, this means that it needs to be flushed out and replaced, as it should be a clear amber tone.
2. Check Your Battery and the Connections
Have an auto parts store or your mechanic test the battery to see if it needs to be replaced or recharged. Expect to replace your car battery every three years.
You should also pay attention to the cables and connections that connect the battery to your vehicle. If they are corroded, have them cleaned to ensure that the connection is not compromised.
3. Consider Replacing Your Oil with One That is Better Suited for Winter Weather
If your vehicle needs an oil change, ask your mechanic if you should replace your usual oil type with something that is better suited for the winter months. Cold temperatures can cause the oil in your car to thicken. You may want to switch to a thinner oil to make sure that it can flow freely.
4. Inspect Your Tires
You can expect a set of tires to last approximately 80,000 to 90,000 miles. Check the tread on your tires; it needs to be at least 1/8 of an inch thick to maintain proper traction.
If you will be traveling to an area that receives a lot of winter precipitation, consider swapping your regular tires for snow tires. Snow tires have a different tread pattern that permits them to have better traction during slick driving conditions.
Don't forget to examine your spare tire and swap it out if necessary. Contact a service, like M & R Automotive Service Center Inc, for more help.