10 Important Winter Maintenance Checklist Items

10 Important Winter Maintenance Checklist Items

Make sure your car stays in tip-top shape through the winter months. Simply follow these winter car maintenance guidelines to get your car ready for winter. This list will help you choose the best snow tires, wiper blades, and repair businesses to prevent a flat tire, engine failure, or accident.

Car Battery
Start by checking your car battery. Your car may not start in cold temperatures. If you don’t have the tools to check your battery, take it to an affordable auto repair store for a diagnostic test to determine the battery’s remaining life and charge. Replace an older battery with the best one you can afford. Batteries with higher cranking currents are less likely to fail on cold days when you need them most.

Winter Tires
Winter tires improve your car’s traction in snow, heavy rain, and sleet, making it safer to stop and drive a two- or four-wheel drive vehicle. If your car is not equipped with a dashboard low-pressure alarm, check your tire pressure regularly during cold weather. Tire pressure drops by one pound for every 10 degrees of temperature increase. Underinflated tires can blow out or increase stopping distances on icy roads. Auto parts companies offer inexpensive tire pressure gauges that can be used for glove box checks.

Southern California winter temperatures above 45 degrees Fahrenheit allow for the use of all-season tires. If you drive on icy roads, consider winter tires with a stronger tread design and rubber for maximum traction.

Climate Control System
Before the cold weather hits, check your car’s climate control settings. Feel if the defroster is blowing hot air from the front and rear window vents or if the heater element is warming up. Fix system problems immediately.

Windshield Wipers.
Replace streaky or skipping wiper blades to improve visibility in rain and snow and reduce accidents. Most auto parts companies replace wiper blades free of charge on all makes and models.

Headlights.
Checking headlights and lenses is often overlooked during the winter months. Replace burned-out bulbs and clean dirty lenses so other vehicles can see your lights.

Wiper fluid.

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Check your wiper fluid level and carry extra, as salt, grit and snow can make windshield cleaning more frequent. To prevent windows from freezing, use a winter mixture that contains antifreeze.

Change your motor oil
When temperatures drop, oil thickens, making it difficult to start and run your engine. Before winter, change the oil and filter, and top off the oil according to the viscosity and brand specified in the owner’s manual.

Transmission fluid and brake fluid
Winter car maintenance includes cleaning and topping off the transmission fluid and brake fluid. If you don’t have them, take your car to a mechanic or repair store to have them filled or flushed, or go to an auto parts store to have them filled or flushed yourself.

Winter driving requires antifreeze, especially in northern areas. If temperatures are cold, mix 50 percent antifreeze with 50 percent water. If you drive in colder climates, you may need 60% or even 70% antifreeze to keep your engine working properly. More than 70% antifreeze/30% water may damage the radiator.

Hoses/Fittings
Dry hoses and fittings can break or leak fluid while driving, leading to breakdowns and engine damage. Another important car maintenance tip is to check and replace worn hoses before winter sets in.

Emergency Driving Kit
Accidents and breakdowns are very dangerous in winter. Therefore, we recommend that you have an emergency kit that includes the following essentials

First aid kit
Blanket
Rechargeable flashlight
Traffic deflectors
Jumper cables
Power Stick/Cell Phone Charger
Multi-purpose utility knife
Sand/cat litter
De-icing sprayers and scrapers
ScoopSnacks and water
Safe Winter Driving

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Before winter arrives, prepare your car for dangerous driving conditions. With an emergency kit, a full gas tank and these winter car care tips, winter driving will be safer. The experts at Land Rover Detailing can help you tune up your car for the winter. A pre-winter checkup gives you peace of mind!