Mechanical Fixes For Winter

March 16, 2009

Our Tip of the Week concerns getting your car mechanically prepared for wintertime. First of all address any areas that have been problems. If your car's been acting up in the spring, summer and fall, it's likely to worsen with dropping ambient temperatures, so check those items first. Also do a visual inspection of the entire vehicle because you can often visually pick up on areas that are going to be problems in the not-to-distant future.

But if your car is running well and fairly low mileage since the last service interval, you still want to check items like antifreeze. Make sure that it has the proper freeze protection, that it's full and clean, and if it needs flushing, do that before the onset of winter. Engine oil is another key area. If you've run 10W30, 10W40 or 20/50, they may have been suitable grades to run in the summertime, but they're not suitable for cold winter starts. Most vehicles today call for 5W30 oil for good winter performance. Another critical area to look at in your vehicle is the condition and type of tires that you've got. Make sure that you've got adequate tread gap, that they're properly inflated and that they're a suitable type of tire for winter driving. If they're not, now's the time to change them to new tires or to buy winter tires that are more suitable for winter performance. This is a key safety issue on many of today's cars.

That's your Tip of the Week!

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