Winter can be a challenging season for vehicle owners due to precipitation, low temperatures, and unpredictable conditions. For this reason, preventive vehicle maintenance is paramount to ensuring your safety on the road. Here are five simple tips to keep your vehicle running smoothly this holiday season.
5 Vehicle Maintenance Tips for the Winter
1. Replace Your Wiper Blades
Did you know that even the highest-quality wiper blades can start to lose their effectiveness even after just six months? Additionally, as the weather gets colder, it can impact your wipers in a few ways. You might notice that the wiper blades become bent or the wiper arms start to skip. Getting a new set of wiper blades can be a smart move to ensure your peace of mind as the temperatures start to drop.
2. Check Your Battery
Cold conditions may shorten the life of a vehicle battery by up to 50%. Reduced capacity and higher drain from starting motors and accessories are some primary contributing factors that lead to batteries dying in the winter.
Inspect your battery terminals and wires for cracks, loose connections, and any debris or residue to make sure your battery is ready to go for the winter. And, as part of your scheduled vehicle maintenance, have the battery checked and replaced if necessary.
3. Warm Up Your Vehicle
Ensure optimal performance of your vehicle during the winter by avoiding extended periods of inactivity. To ensure your engine stays warm, it's a good idea to run it for brief intervals. However, it is important to avoid warming up your vehicle in your garage, even if the door is open. Warming up your car in the garage can expose you to carbon monoxide poisoning.
Here are some precautions you can take:
- Before you start your vehicle, make sure to open the garage door.
- Start the vehicle and carefully reverse it out of the garage right away.
- Ventilate the space by leaving the garage door open.
4. Check Your Tires
Tread depth plays a significant role in determining how well tires perform. As tires age, their tread gradually wears down, which can lead to decreased traction on wet, cold, or frosted surfaces. To make sure your driving experience is at its best and, most importantly, to keep you safe on the road, vehicle maintenance with your tires is crucial.
If you haven't heard of this timeless trick before, here's a handy way to check your tire tread: simply take a penny and insert it into the groove of your tire. If you can clearly see the entire head of Lincoln on a penny when you insert it into your tire's tread, then your tread depth is less than 2/32”, and it's time to consider getting new tires.
5. Change Your Oil and Check Other Fluids
Some changes may occur in your car's fluids when the temperature drops low enough. Antifreeze, transmission fluid, and motor oil are just a few examples of fluids that may thicken and move more slowly in colder temperatures. Unfortunately, this might make it difficult to start the engine or cause regular driving to seem sluggish.
In the winter, switching from conventional oil to a synthetic blend is highly recommended, especially for older vehicles. Make sure to inspect, change, or top off all of your other fluids as part of your overall winter vehicle maintenance.
Schedule Your Winter Vehicle Maintenance Appointment in Littleton, CO
At South Park Tire & Auto Center, we are proud to be the top choice in Littleton, CO, for all of your vehicle maintenance and repair needs. Our team specializes in providing honest and reliable services that you can trust.
Whether you need routine maintenance or more extensive auto repair, we are here to ensure your vehicle is in top-notch condition. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!