Driving on the road takes skill. Winter approaches and some people find themselves at a loss. The weather can cause a lot of changes to your car and it sometimes causes issues to arise. Here are 10 automotive maintenance tips to keep your car safe in the winter so it will keep you safe on the road.
1. Keep your car warm
If you have a garage plan to use it during the winter. Clear out some space for your car to keep it warm. Keeping your car warm offers several benefits to both you and your car.
- It keeps your oil thin, allowing your car to have a more easy start when you are ready to drive.
- You can save yourself time by not having to scrape off any ice or snow.
- You save yourself a trip out in the cold.
Consider your garage for a second. It may be out of date, you need your door fixed, or you need a new garage. There are businesses that offer a garage door service. People will come out and fix your door, see if they can reduce any issues you have with it, or they can install a new one. It is best to have a garage to place your car in, so you will have the benefits listed above when winter comes.
Here is a bonus tip when it comes to garages. The type of flooring you have also matters when it comes to storing your car in the garage. Remember that your preowned SUVs or a new mustang should be on a specific type of flooring. This will help ensure that your tires last as long as possible.
The floor you see in auto sales dealerships tend to be different than the flooring in a home garage. There are contractors available to pave your garage floor or secure it with the necessary sealant. Asphalt paving contractors and concrete paving contractors offer a variety of options and pricing. Take your time when deciding which flooring you want your car to rest on.
No matter the flooring or garage you will thank yourself for putting your car in the garage during winter. It keeps your car safe and it keeps you safe when you drive it.
2. Have a good mechanic
This is one of the most important automotive maintenance tips. In the United States, around 693,700 care mechanics are actively helping car owners. Mechanics can solve problems the right way. They take care of your car so your car takes care of you. Mechanics offer a variety of services that are beneficial at any time of the year. They offer:
- Oil change or check oil fluid
- Brake repair
- Tire Rotations
- Engine Maintenance
- Car inspection
- Dent removal and more
Mechanics tend to get busy during the winter. This is due to so many issues that occur with cars during this time. Cars can stall. Accidents happen. Tire pressure tends to decrease with the cold weather. Mechanics can diagnose what is going on with your car and if it is in good shape or not. Usually, mechanics may recommend you checking in on your car with them every 5,000 miles or so. They can tell you if a car is fixable. They can also tell you if it is best to buy a new car which leads to one of the next automotive maintenance tips.
3. Keep gas in your car
The worst thing that could happen during winter is to run on empty. A general rule of thumb is to at least have a quarter of a tank of gas in your car. If you know you are going to be making a long trip, be sure to fill you up your tank. If you are not planning a long trip, have at least a quarter of gas in your car. In case of emergencies, you will want to have gas so your car will run to keep you warm during winter. Unplanned events happen. Be prepared in case that event happens to you. You will not have to get stalled or wait in the cold weather. A 24 hour towing company could take minutes to hours to arrive to assist you. Gas comes in handy when you least expect it.
4. New car — get coverage and a lawyer on speed dial
If you recently got a new car or are planning on getting one before or during winter, be sure to get coverage. Many automotive maintenance tips may not include this, but it is important to have. Coverage allows you to have the freedom to maintain your car and protect yourself. For instance, accidents happen on the road during winter due to black ice. When this happens, you will want to not step on the breaks, but many people do.
Collisions are more common than not during winter. This in turn allows an increase in demand for lawyers. Car accident lawyer, auto accident attorney, or a personal injury law firm tend to see an increase in need during this time. It is good to have a general recommendation or your own lawyer at your disposal.
Coverage protects you financially. It can protect you against things such as:
- Car accidents
- Weather damage
- Animal damage
- Other people
With coverage, you can protect yourself, your car, and you can also protect others. The type of car you have matters. If you have a truck, think about investing in a trucking accident lawyer. Trucks tend to get the short end of the stick when it comes to filing damage claims. The type of car you have matters in terms of coverage.
If you have no coverage and get into an accident, you could end up losing your car, money, and anything that was damaged or lost in your car. This is where having a lawyer on speed dial comes in handy. You will want someone who knows what to do and what to say. Lawyers will fight for you and your personal belongings if an accident occurs. Coverage and lawyers are key in having security. Doing these two things whether you have a new car or not, will be one less worry you have if an accident occurs.
Not only is a car accident lawyer and coverage needed during winter, they are both needed during any season of the year.
5. Upgrade windshield wipers
If you are in a city where it snows or rains every single day you know the importance of having good windshield wipers. The wipers clear your view. They give you a sense of direction. Windshield wipers do need to be replaced throughout the year. If you keep old windshield wipers, they can cause damage to your window. If you notice a squeaking or squealing sound when you turn them on, it may be time to replace them.
Generally speaking, windshield wipers can be bought at a variety of places. Some grocery stores will have them in the car section. You can go to an auto shop. You can also buy them at your dealership where you bought your car.
Windshield wipers are essential throughout the year. If broken replace it as soon as possible. They give your eyes clarity. They provide you with security. This is one of the fastest automotive maintenance tips to fix. These take less than five minutes to replace. Be sure you buy the right kind for your car.
6. Check the oil
If you do not keep your car in the garage, your oil may not thin out. Oil should be check within a certain mileage range. Mechanics can do this, but you can too. This is one other automotive maintenance tips that takes less than five minutes to do. Here’s how:
- Make sure your engine is off, and let your car cool down a bit.
- Pop the hood of your car.
- Stabilize the hood of your car.
- Find the dipstick. This usually has a yellow ring and is on top of your oil tank.
- Pull the dipstick out of the hole.
- Wipe it down all the way and put it back in the hole.
- Pull the dipstick out again and see where the oil falls on the dipstick.
You should be able to see if the oil level is low, full, or in between. If it is low, it is time to add or change your oil. If you are unsure of how to add oil or if it needs to change entirely, seek out help from a trustful mechanic. Oil is something you can check on month to month. Week to week. However often you would like as long as you are consistent with it.
7. Check your tire pressure
Tires are the feet of your car. They are what pushes you to your destination. Most cars now have a tire light. When this light turns on it is signaling to you that one or several of your tires is low or it needs to be changed.
With ice on the roads your car can come across black ice. Black ice is dangerous and can damage your tires and brakes if you skid on it. Ice is not the only thing that can damage your tires.
Temperature outside impacts your tires without you knowing. When the weather gets cooler, your tire pressure decreases. If you feel that you are sitting lower in your car, but have not moved your seat, check your tires. Keeping your tires in shape could prevent an accident from occurring.
If you are unsure if your tire pressure is decreasing, there are auto shops that offer courteous tire pressure checks. This takes around five minutes or less depending on how much air your tire needs. You can always pump air into your tires if you have a tire air pump.
Remember that these automotive maintenance tips for the winter are to get your car in shape for the roads you will travel. You want stable tires with good air pressure to keep your car running.
8. Get chains for your tires
Cities use safety measures for the road. If you live in a state where it tends to ice rather than snow a lot, roads may be sanded down. If you live in a state where it snows a lot, you may have noticed in the winter that cars have chains around their tires. These chains help their tires not accumulate a numerous amount of snow. Investing in chains something many overlook when it comes to automotive maintenance tips. Chains can be bought at a major grocery store, auto shop, or online. Make sure you get the chains that are going to best fit your car.
9. Have cables and check your battery
Jumper cables come in handy when you are stalled. Your battery may die on you unexpectedly. Ensuring you have a good battery and cables are automotive maintenance tips that should be placed on a high priority for you. If someone else stalls, you can help them jumpstart their battery if you have cables.
You can check your battery by taking it to an auto shop, or you can do it yourself with a voltmeter. Here’s how:
- Turn off your vehicle entirely–including lights.
- Connect the positive side of your battery with the positive side of the voltmeter.
- Repeat this with connecting the negative sides of your battery with the negative side of the voltmeter.
- Look at the reading on your voltmeter to see if your battery is good.
- Carefully disconnect each negative side first.
- Safely clean each terminal connection.
Generally, if you have a good battery the voltmeter will indicate this with anything above 12.4v volts. If it falls below that number, take your car into a trusted mechanic to get the battery looked at.
10. Invest in an ice scraper (and safety box)
Lastly, this is a simple tip compared to the previous automotive maintenance tips. Ice scrapers can be bought online, at auto shops, or in a variety of stores. You will not want to use your windshield wipers to scrape off ice. Preserve your wipers. Use an ice scraper instead.
If you do not keep your car in a garage, or if you are at work and it is snowing, the fastest way to get snow or ice off is with an ice-scraper. Use these without exerting too much force to protect your windows. This is a great tool to have.
Along with this, it is better to be safe than sorry. You will want to invest in a mini safety box consisting of a:
- Small first aid kit
- One or two water bottles
You can add more if you want, but these will come in handy. If you get stranded where there is no heavy traffic, a whistle could let people know where you are. A flashlight can be used when your fuses go out in your car or if you are stranded at night. The towel and water bottles keep you warm and hydrated. The first aid kit will have band-aids, ointment, and more to help any wounds you may have.
The ice scraper can also come in handy with the safety box to keep your windows clear for a view of cars that could help you when stranded.
These 10 automotive maintenance tips will help you in any season, especially in the winter. After all, taking care of your car will help ensure that you only need the help of a personal injury law firm in the result of an emergency. You won’t get into an accident because of your car’s quality. These automotive maintenance tips help you travel. They lead you. Keep yourself safe. Keep your car safe.