Fall may have just arrived, but the temperatures have already started to drop and within a month or two, we may see the first snowflakes begin to fall. Now is the time to make sure your vehicle is ready for winter driving.
Get your car a tune-up and ask your mechanic check any other systems that require regular maintenance. You’ll want to make sure your vehicle has the proper amount of anti-freeze and make sure you have plenty of windshield washing fluid, you’ll need it during the winter.
Schedule an oil change. Some vehicles need a different type of oil during the winter so consult your owner’s manual to see if you need to switch types before the temperature drops. If you know your way around a car, or you like to tinker, it’s easy enough to change the oil with a few basic tools.
Check the battery. Cold weather can be really harsh on batteries and there is nothing worse than a dead battery when you’re sitting in your car in a deserted parking lot waiting for the tow truck to rescue you. Stores like AutoZone and Advance Auto Parts can check your battery for free while you wait. You can carry a portable battery charger to make sure you don’t get caught unaware.
If you prefer to work on your vehicle at home, online stores like PartsGeek sell parts for your auto and offer discounted pricing. Sign up for their newsletter to be alerted to specials that they offer. Right now you can receive up to 80% off storewide plus $5 off and free shipping on select items. That adds up to some big savings!
Perhaps most important is your tires. Make sure you have enough tread on your tires with an easy test. Take a penny and insert it into the groove of the tread on your tire with Lincoln’s head upside down, but facing you. If you can see all of his head, then you don’t have the 2/32-inch tread depth and its time to replace your tires. Purchasing tires can be a large expense. You can break it up by purchasing two tires for the front of the vehicle and then two tires for the back next payday, unless you have a four-wheel drive vehicle and then it’s best to replace all the tires at once.
If you’re like me, cleaning your vehicle and giving it the royal treatment may not be high on your list of priorities, but just like you spring clean your home, a good fall cleaning is good for the vehicle too. Grab some basic automotive care products and head to your local car wash so you can vacuum the interior, scrub it down and make it look like new- or almost new.
While you’re cleaning, make sure you have a few basic items just in case you were to find yourself stranded on the side of the road. Make sure you have a spare tire, jack and tools to replace your tire. Kitty litter or salt, and a shovel, can be helpful if you get stuck. Flares, a flashlight with extra batteries, cell phone charger, blanket, some water and a couple granola bars could come in handy if you find yourself stuck on the side of the road.
If you have a vehicle that you prefer not to drive for the winter, you may want to protect it from the elements and store it with a cover from Empire Covers. Right now you can receive up to 45% off storewide plus free shipping. This is a great time to purchase that cover for your fancy sports car that doesn’t handle so well in the snow, or for that RV that you won’t use until spring.