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Preparing for Winter Driving
"Regular, routine vehicle maintenance can help improve your gasoline mileage, reduce pollution and catch minor problems before they become big headaches," according to Tony Molla of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Maintenance is especially important as we head into autumn and winter when driving conditions worsen and your car, truck, SUV or commercial fleet vehicle experiences extra wear and tear from the elements. Make sure your vehicle is ready for winter with these easy auto maintenance services.
Check your owner's manual and follow the manufacturer's recommended service schedule. Go to a trustworthy auto shop with ASE-certified mechanics for all regular scheduled auto maintenance.
Correct current problems before they worsen. Hard starts, stalling, reduced power and rough running can often be easily diagnosed and corrected, and winter driving has a tendency to make existing problems worse.
Replace dirty filters, including air, oil filter and fuel filters for increased engine performance and efficiency.
Flush and refill the cooling system as recommended in your owner's manual, and check the level and condition of your coolant periodically. Never, never remove the radiator cap until the engine has cooled completely!
Make sure your heater and defroster work well, as these are essential for safe and comfortable winter driving.
Replace worn wiper blades for optimal safety and visibility, and make sure you have a supply of windshield wiper fluid for those dirty driving days.
Check your battery for corrosion build-up on the nodes, top-off fluid level if caps are removable, and make sure all connections are tight. Wear rubber gloves and eye protection to avoid contact with corrosive materials.
Inspect lights and bulbs to make sure all are in working order. You'll likely be using your fog lights and high beams more frequently on dark winter days.
Check your tire tread, as worn tires are extremely dangerous in winter driving conditions. Balding tires lead to reduced traction in wet and icy conditions, increasing chances of loss of control and even collision.
Have your brakes checked to ensure adequate braking power.
If you're handy, many of these vehicle maintenance procedures can be done by you. For those who aren't do-it-yourselfers, use a professional local auto repair shop. For expert auto repair with ASE-certified auto mechanics in Palo Alto & Mountain View, The Car Doctor can be reached at (650) 492-6853 .
The Car Doctor Blog
Written & Published By MORBiZ