Give your car the gift of a little TLC this holiday season and enter the new year with a vehicle that is well cared for and ready for the roads. Not only will you feel better about starting your year off right, but your car will thank you by lasting longer and running more efficiently. Here’s a handy checklist of things you can attend to as you give your vehicle the TLC it deserves.
Summer months are hard on batteries. The middle of a snow storm is the worst time to find yourself with a dead battery. Make sure it’s charging fully before wintery conditions arrive. Also, don’t forget to check the connections from the battery to the engine to make sure they are clean, tight and free of corrosion.
Belts and Hoses
Cracked, brittle, frayed or loose belts and hoses only get worse in severe winter months. A broken belt or hose can ruin an engine or even worse, leave you stranded in freezing temperatures. If they look worn, have your mechanic check them and replace them if needed.
All parts of the brake system should be in good shape so that if you need to stop suddenly on a snow-covered road, you’ll be able to do so safely. Linings, drums and rotors should be examined regularly for wear.
Your car’s engine should be delivering a perfect balance of power and fuel economy, as well as producing the lowest possible level of emissions. Giving your car a tune-up by changing spark plugs, the air filter, and the engine’s oil is a great way to make sure your vehicle has the best chance at running smoothly in cold weather.
Exhaust leaks are dangerous due to the creation of carbon monoxide. Leaks can also cause an engine to run too hot and should be fixed right away. Damaged exhaust supports or hangers not only cause annoying noises but are also a sign of worse things to come if unaddressed.
Your engine may need to use a winter-grade oil in order to run smoothly. The power steering, brake, antifreeze and transmission fluids should also be checked regularly during cold months. Keep the wiper fluid reservoir full during sleet and snow season by keeping an extra bottle in the trunk.
A working heating and cooling system is not just important for staying comfortable while driving but also for safety reasons. Defrosting your car’s windshield can be a matter of life and death while driving in sleet, snow and ice. Your HVAC, working properly, takes care of that for you.
All interior and exterior lights should be working so you can see the road and so others can see you. It’s a matter of safety, and it saves money (no expensive tickets for non-working tail lights).
Tire pressure changes when the weather gets cold and should be checked often during the cold months. Uneven tread wear indicates bad alignment or a need for a rotation. Bulges and bald spots on tires could also mean other unsafe driving conditions.
If you want your car to last as long as possible, giving it a little TLC this holiday season will go a long way. And RC Auto can help you whenever you need a tune-up or other maintenance. Schedule an appointment or stop by today.