Old Man Winter is going to try to shake you down in the coming weeks! Stick it to him and get your vehicle prepared. Here’s a handy checklist to help you get it ready for the cold weather:
Recalls on Your Vehicle? – Just how safe is your vehicle to drive in Winter weather? Discovering safety recalls on your vehcile is a good first step. Enter your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) here in NHTSA’s Recalls Look-Up Tool to learn if your vehicle has been a part of a safety recall in the last 15 years.
Tune-Up & Routine Maintenance – Your trusted local mechanic is the best next step for a seasonal tune-up and regular maintenance. Leaks, old belts & hoses and any other parts and repairs should be your special request for them to check…especially your battery (e.g. for sufficient voltage, amperage and reserve capacity & tighten battery cable connections).
Tires – Quick check for excessive wear and correct pressure. (Avg. mo. pressure loss is 1 lb.). If you’re in snow country and need special snow tires…get ’em now! Remember…spare tires lose pressure too…check it! Contrary to popular belief, the correct pressure is NOT the number listed on the tire. Look closely at your tread and replace tires that have uneven wear or insufficient tread. Tread should be at least 2/32 of an inch or greater on all tires.
New Wiper Blades – Not being able to see through your windshield during a downpour is not a surprise you want to experience…old & worn wiper blades are dangerous. Also…make sure your front and rear window defrosters are in proper working order.
Fluids – Radiator (coolant system) & windshield washer fluid…Flush & refill as appropriate . Use high-quality “winter” fluid with de-icer.
Lights & Signals – Emergency flashers, brake lights, headlights, turn signals, interior lights test & replace as necessary.