Avoid Surprise, Winterize
North American Precis Syndicate
A six-point vehicle check now can help prevent unexpected car trouble when the weather turns rough. (NAPS)
(NAPSI)—As the weather gets colder, winterizing your vehicle should
be a top priority. The nonprofit Car Care Council recommends that motorists
perform a six-point winter maintenance check of areas that are particularly
affected by driving in rough weather.
“Harsh weather can stress out a vehicle, as well as its driver,”
explained Rich White, executive director of the nonprofit Car Care Council. “A
vehicle that’s properly prepared for the elements can help you avoid an
unplanned road emergency when the weather takes a sudden turn for the worse.”
Six-Point Vehicle Check
weather is hard on batteries, so it’s wise to check the battery and
charging system for optimum performance. Because batteries don’t always
give warning signs before they fail, it’s advisable to replace
batteries that are more than three years old.
(coolant) should be flushed and refilled at least every two years in most
vehicles. Don’t add 100 percent antifreeze, however. Surprisingly,
full-strength antifreeze actually has a lower freeze point than when mixed
3. Brakes—Have the brake
system checked. Brakes are critical to vehicle safety and particularly
important on icy or snow-covered roads.
4. Tires—Check the tire
tread depth and tire pressure, including the spare. If you’ll be
driving where snow and ice are a problem, consider special tires designed to
grip slick roads. Check tire pressure weekly, as tires lose pressure when
5. Oil—Be diligent about
changing the oil at recommended intervals and check the fuel, air and
transmission filters at the same time. Consider changing to low-viscosity oil
in winter, as it will flow more easily between moving parts when cold. In subzero
driving temperatures, drop oil weight from 10W-30 to 5W-30 as thickened oil
can make it hard to start the car.
6. Lights and Wipers—Make
sure all exterior and interior lights are working so you can see and be seen.
Check the fluid level in the windshield washer reservoir and replace wiper
blades that are torn, cracked or don’t properly clean your windshield.
In addition, the council recommends a thorough vehicle inspection by a
trusted professional service technician as winter magnifies existing problems
such as pings, hard starts, sluggish performance or rough idling.
Drivers should keep their vehicle’s gas tank at least half-full to
decrease the chances of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly
freezing and stock an emergency kit with an ice scraper and snow brush,
jumper cables, flashlight, blanket, extra clothes, bottled water, dry food
snacks and needed medication.
The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car
Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of
regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers.
To order a free copy of the popular “Car Care Guide,” visit
the council’s consumer education website at www.carcare.org.
On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)