Is your car ready for winter? Probably not. But don’t feel bad. Over one-quarter of driving accidents are affected by dangerous weather conditions, resulting in vehicle and property damage, injury and death. That’s why it’s so important to make sure, as heavy rain, snow, sleet, fog, wind and ice return, that you, your family and your car are protected.
Most students don’t worry about winterizing their vehicle until after the first snowfall. Usually, the cost and hassle are factors. We don’t want to spend any money on our vehicle until necessary.
But getting ready for winter doesn’t have to be a considerable expense or pain. Just follow a few quick steps and cut costs, not corners.
1) Your Tires
Winter tires make a massive difference in safely controlling your vehicle in snow and mud. Unfortunately, if you still have your winter tires from winter 2010, they don’t count. Buying winter tires can be expensive, but you can save some money by googling “used tires” and your town. Many shops and garages use tires that have outlasted their previous car and still have many miles left on them.
2) Your Scraper
Your car is worth thousands, but the key to protecting it can be bought at the dollar store. It’s simple, you have to be able to see out of your windows, and there’s no substitute for a decent scrapper. Of course, CD cases and credit cards do the job too, but come on!
3) Your Oil
Cold temperatures may mean you’ll want to use a thinner viscosity engine oil to make sure you’re still lubricating moving parts over the colder months. A little bit of money spent on oil saves you nightmarish costs later.
4.) Change your fluid
Like most people, you probably don’t think about your car’s fluid levels until there’s a problem. But checking and changing your car fluids is essential for vehicle maintenance. Different fluids serve different purposes in your car, so it’s important to know what each one does and how often it should be replaced.
The three primary fluids you need to worry about are engine oil, brake fluid, and antifreeze. Engine oil protects your engine from wear and tear, so it should be changed every 5,000 miles or every six months, whichever comes first. Brake fluid helps transfer force from the brake pedal to the brakes themselves, so it should be replaced every two years or 25,000 miles.