It’s that time of year again! Everyone is donning scarves and counting down the days until Thanksgiving—a time of togetherness, gratefulness and, of course, delicious dishes. But as the winter season approaches, you may noticed that the days are growing colder and the nights are becoming frostier. The coming winter months will present hazards for vehicles that aren’t properly prepared for inclement weather conditions. Follow these helpful suggestions to ensure a safe Thanksgiving—whether you’re staying near home or traveling over the river and through the woods.
Now is the time to replace or refill your fluids—wiper fluid, oil, and coolant. Your wiper fluid must be freeze-resistant so that it doesn’t become solid the moment it touches the air outside. Likewise, it is vital that your coolant is the right antifreeze/water mixture because it could freeze in your radiator. And when it comes to oil, you may want to adjust the viscosity and consider using a thinner option. Check your owner’s manual or speak to a Rolf’s technician for guidance.
Inspect Tires/Mount Winter Tires
Tire traction becomes vitally important in the fall and winter seasons. Inspect your tires and make sure they’re not worn or low on pressure, both of which negatively affect traction. If you live in a place with extremely cold weather that is frequently at or below freezing, you should mount winter tires that are specially designed to withstand hardening in cold temperatures. Tires like these will give you the traction you want and need.
Sitting in your vehicle on a cold morning isn’t fun, but do you know what’s even less fun? Sitting in your car on a cold morning when it won’t turn start. Yes, we’re talking about the dreaded dead battery. This can happen when the chemical reaction in your vehicle’s battery slows down and can’t generate the current needed to turn the engine over. Avoid this by getting a battery load test, which will tell you if you need to replace your battery, and take a good look at your terminals and cables to make sure they’re all fitting securely.
Pack an Emergency Kit
You may think you’ll never need an emergency kit but it is a good idea to prepare for any scenario—especially in the winter. Suggested items include a flashlight, blanket, flares, ice scraper, antifreeze, first aid kit, jumper cables, warm clothing, matches, non-perishable food and beverages, and a bag of sand in case your tires get stuck in the slush or snow.
Install Winter Wipers
Depending on where you live, you may want to consider installing winter wipers that are designed for more extreme weather conditions. If your winter tends to be mild, at least make sure your wipers are not frayed or worn, as they will still encounter salt and precipitation build-up. It is recommended that you replace your wipers annually anyway, so take this opportunity to switch them out before extremely cold temperatures set in.
Thanksgiving will be here before you know it, and so will the cold winter months. Don’t wait to get started on these vehicle winterization steps! The good news is you don’t have to do all the work yourself. Visit Rolf’s Import Auto for a complete vehicle tune-up and we’ll check all of these safety elements for you. You can trust Rolf’s to send you on your way prepared for the holiday season.