How to Prepare Your Car for the Changing Seasons
Published: 10/22/2010 by AutoShopit
Keeping your car in perfect shape and ready for the changing weather will guarantee smooth, hassle-free, safe driving for the entire year. For every new season, there are some parts that need special attention for them to work at their best. Of all the seasons, summer and winter have the most effect on vehicles because of its extreme temperatures. For the hot summer time, you’re Air Conditioning system is your favorite car feature and during this time, it also need special car care. Before the year ends, you greatly appreciate your heating system to defend you against the blowing winter wind. Before the cold winter times, you must also prepare your heater to provide you with the warmth that you need.
Specifically, for your car to be in its top shape regardless of how cold or hot it is, prepare your car for the changing seasons by following this list.
- Maintain your coolant/antifreeze level to its required level. Low coolant level is the most common cause of engine overheating and subsequently, engine breakdown. If in case you will fill the tank with the needed coolant, check first if it is compatible with your vehicle. Antifreeze ratio to water should be 50:50.
- Check your tires for tire pressure and tire tread. Tire pressure is best checked after driving the vehicle for 15 minutes. Your tires must have the required pressure to be properly inflated. During cold seasons, the pressure inside your tires usually drops because the air tends to contract. Tire tread is measured by inserting a penny between the tread. Rule is, when you see Lincoln’s hair, your tire needs replacing. For the winter season, it is a wise decision to replace the regular tires with studded or winter tires for the tough weather and roads.
- Check your A/C System. Before summer begins, drive your car to your mechanic to check for Freon levels or if ever you’re A/C needs recharging to efficiently cool the incoming hot air.
- Check if your windshield wiper blades need replacement. Wiper blades should be replaced at least once a year at least before the winter season begins. Wiper blades take a lot of work during the winter and your old wiper blades may not be strong enough for all the winter hard work. It is also a good idea that during the cold weathers, fill your washer reservoir with wiper fluid that is freeze resistant and store a gallon of it in your trunk.
- Have a battery check. If your battery is more than three years old, bring it to your mechanic to check if the alternator still has good capacity and output. Battery terminals are prone to corrosion so make sure that it is corrosion-free.
- Inspect your brakes. It is very safe to have your braking system checked every 6 months. For tough weather conditions your brakes should also be in its perfect working condition.
- Ensure that all your hoses and belts are not damaged. Wearing of coolant hoses start in the inside and the cracks outside means there are already extensive damage in the inside and it might not last rough driving.
Keep a winter emergency kit at the trunk of your vehicle. It should contain a first aid kit, blankets, boots, ice scraper, jumper cables, windshield washer fluid, small shovel, flashlight, and bottled water.