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Fall Car Maintenance You Should Do Before Winter

Oct 16, 2018 - Posted by: Rocky Mountain Credit Union

There are probably plenty of things on your to-do list to get ready for the winter. When you look at that list, is prepping your car for winter one of them? It should be. If you are wondering where to start, or not sure what to make a priority when it comes to getting your car ready for winter, well you’re not alone. We have a few tips to make sure that you and your car make it through the winter in one piece.

  • Wipers- Are your wipers leaving streaks? If you notice that your windshield isn’t clearing when it rains, we can promise you that it’s not going to do any better when the weather turns from rain to snow. If you’re not sure, change them out, it’s an inexpensive way to make sure you are safe this winter.
  • Lights- Make sure all your car lights work before winter officially hits. Ask a friend to stand in front of and behind your car while trying the headlights, brake lights, turn signals, and emergency lights. Make sure you check all your interior lights as well. Once winter is here, the days get much shorter meaning you are getting in and out of your car in the dark more often.
  • Battery- When was the last time you replaced your batter? Is there corrosion on the terminals? If there is clean it off and make sure it’s working properly. The last thing you need (or want) is for your car to not start in the middle of a cold, cold day.
  • Filters- Change oil and air filters. If you are using standard oil the recommendation is that it be changed every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Using synthetic oil will get you to the 7,500-mile mark. Check that little sticker on your windshield and if you close get it changed while you are still thinking about it. The air filter is another thing to consider. If you remove it, it should allow light from a 60-watt bulb to shine through. If you cannot see light, change the filter.
  • Fluids and Belts- Aside from oil your car also has brake fluid, power steering fluid, and transmission fluid. Refer to the owner’s manual for instructions about checking these fluids. Make sure they are all full and working properly. While you are at it, check the belts. They can wear and fray and can leave you in trouble if it breaks while you’re driving it.
  • Tires- Check on the inside of the car door for information about your tire pressure. Tire pressure tends to drop with the temperature, so make sure that your tires are filled with the correct pressure. Have them rotated and also check your tread depth (should be about 4/32”). You should also consider getting snow tires for the winter. Even though they are expensive, it is an investment that is worth your money. You can have these tires put on your car any time between October 1st and May 31st.
  • Wash and Wax- This is a great time to wash away that summer dust and grime and get prepared for another season. Getting a car wax while you’re at it will help protect your car from some of the harmful materials that get used every winter on the roads.

Taking the necessary steps to make sure your car is ready for winter saves you time, money, and frustration. Do these eight things and your car will continue to be reliable and won’t leave you high and dry in the cold winter weather.

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