The Most Commonly Ignored Car Maintenance Tasks: Winter Edition
Many people assume that if they can put their key into their car ignition and the car starts, that it is in good condition. However, this is not necessarily true, especially when the degrees start to drop and the snow begins to fall. Freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on your car and sometimes you may not even be aware of the issues your car is experiencing.
In the winter, all drivers should perform regular maintenance checkups on their car to guarantee that everything is running properly. To help keep you and your family safe on the roads this winter, we have created a list of the most commonly ignored winter car maintenance tasks that should not be so easily forgotten.
Check Your Tire Pressure
During cold winter months, dropping temperatures can significantly lower the air pressure in your tires. You should always check your tire pressure with a gauge, instead of eyeballing it, to make sure you're driving on properly inflated tires. This is especially key during winter months when car tires need to be sufficiently inflated in order to navigate the icy conditions on roads.
Replace Windshield Wipers and Fluid
When you're driving in rainy and snowy conditions, it's important to have clear visibility when driving. The last thing you want is to be driving down the road with wipers that leave streaks on your salt-and snow-covered windshield, making it hard for you to see the cars in front of you. This can be not only scary, but also quite dangerous. If you have windshield wipers that appear to be performing poorly, you should have them replaced immediately.
It is also essential to check that you have enough windshield wiper fluid in the fluid reservoir of your car. On lazy days when you may not feel like scraping the residue and precipitation off of your windshield, you may resort to using your wipers to clear your window off. If you find yourself taking that route too often, you risk the possibility of running out of wiper fluid, so make sure you have enough. During the winter, you also want to make sure you have the right kind of fluid. A winter-blend washer fluid will help de-ice your windshield ster.
Check Your Car Battery
Many drivers tend to overlook the condition of their car battery so long as their car will start when they want it to. Yet during winter months, car batteries often die due to the strain the cold weather puts on them, especially when parked outside. Car batteries lose 60 percent of their strength in zero degree weather and 35 percent of their strength in 32 degree weather. In order to avoid being stuck on the side of the road in the frigid weather due to a dead battery, you should have your battery checked to ensure your car will continue to run properly in the cold weather.
Check the Oil
Cold weather can really do some damage on your engine by thickening your motor oil. When this occurs, your engine will have a hard time starting. To prevent this, you should invest in a formula that is meant for winter use and replace the filter so that the oil can flow properly. It's recommended that you take a look at your owner's manual too, to see what grade of oil they suggest for your vehicle.
Don't Ignore an Issue
It is essential to take these extra precautions in order to keep your car safe this winter, but more importantly, you should never ignore any issue with your car. If you suspect that something is not functioning properly, take your car to a mechanic to make sure that everything is running as it should be.
We know it costs money to have your car checked regularly, but the damage and injuries that could result from an improperly functioning car could cost a lot more. Always consider your safety when driving and leave any big fixes to the mechanics to get the job done correctly.
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