With winter quickly approching many people need to make sure their cars are in top shape to handle the weather. Follow these tips to get the most out of you car this winter:
1. Brakes: The increased travel during the summer months can quickly wear your brakes out. You will need that stopping distance when the snow starts to fall. Check your pads, shoes, rotors, drums, calipers, wheel cylinders, brake hardware, and parking brake for wear.
2. Tires: Just like the brakes, the tires wear more quickly with increased summer travel. Inspect your tires for tread depth and make sure there are no irregular wear patterns. Also be sure to check for proper inflation.
3. Battery: The heat of the summer can kill your car’s battery, which leads to increased battery failures in the winter months. Check your battery for corroded terminals and a bulging or cracked case.
4. Wiper Blades: When the snow starts coming down the last thing you need to worry about is whether your wipers are up to the task. Wiper blades are relatively cheap, its usually just a good bet to go ahead and replace them now, so you don’t have to worry about it.
5. Shocks and Struts: One word: potholes. These pesky things can cause some serious damage to your car. Making sure your shocks and struts are up to par is the best way to ensure proper ride handling, control, comfort and extend tire life.
6. Engine Oil: In extreme conditions having the correct viscosity oil in your engine is key. Make sure your oil is clean and at recommended levels, to make sure your engine performs at its best all winter long.
7. Fluid Levels: Make sure all fluids are at their factory recommended levels. The last thing you need to have happen is for your power steering to go out when its 5 degrees out.
8. Engine Belts and Hoses: Have your belts inspected for wear and tear from summer travel and make sure they are replaced at proper intervals.
9. Air Filter: A clean air filter ensures that your car is operating at the highest level and that fuel consumption is minimized. Just like wiper blades, these can usually be replaced for a few bucks so go ahead and swap it out.
10. Headlamps and Taillamps: When the days get shorter and the weather more trecherous its important to make sure that all of your exterior lights are functioning properly. Not only do you need to be able to see in the early morning and late night, but in snowy weather headlights and taillights help other drivers see you, so make sure everything is functioning properly.
Some of these things can be done on your own, with minimal expertise, but many of these items require significant knowledge to know when a part is worn and needs to be replaced. And replacing some of these things can take specific tools and quite a bit of time. If you aren’t comfortable handling anything yourself please contact Cumberland Chrysler’s service department at (931) 520-4120.