How to prepare your vehicle for the cold winter months.

November 6, 2015 in General

foyyy_windowThe last thing any driver needs is a vehicle that breaks down during cold, harsh winter weather so, an investment of an hour or two to have your vehicle checked is all it takes to have peace of mind and help avoid the cost and hassle of a breakdown.

The following checks before the temperature drops is a sensible way to avoid the inconvenience of being stranded out in the cold and with the unexpected expense of emergency repairs.

  1. Have the battery and charging system checked for optimum performance. Cold weather is hard on batteries.
  2. Make sure heaters and defrosters work properly.
  3. Make sure wipers work properly and replace any worn blades.
  4. Check the tire tread depth and tire pressure. Replace any worn ones and keep all tires inflated according to manufacturer’s recommendations.  This includes also the spare tire.
  5. Have the engine serviced by a qualified mechanic and replace the fuel, air and oil filters.
  6. Check the brakes as this system is one of the vehicle’s most important item.
  7. Have the exhaust system checked for carbon monoxide leaks which can be dangerous when driving with windows closed.
  8. Check to see that the exterior and interior lights work and headlights are properly aimed.
  9. Keep fuel tank full or at least half full as this will decrease the chances of moisture forming in the tank and fuel lines.
  10. Keep a small first aid kit, torch and spare batteries handy in your vehicle.

Apart from the above checks, always plan your route ahead and avoid roads which could be flooded.  Try to avoid driving in bad weather conditions such as heavy rain and hail storms, and make sure you carry your cellphone on you in case your need to call for help.  Put your headlights (NOT sidelights, driving lights or fog lights) on if driving in cloudy or rainy conditions as this will aid other drivers to see you better.

When you take the time to plan ahead, you can make winterizing your vehicle an easy, annual ritual that will keep you and your family safe.