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
Top Signs of Big Trouble Under the Hood
The Best Ways to Maintain a Safe Car
Why does my vehicle need oil changes every 3,000 miles?
Is it Time for a Tune Up?
The Importance of Fleet Vehicle Maintenance
Is Your Car Up to Date with These Auto Maintenance Services?
Is it Time for Drive Belt Replacement?
What is Cooling System Service?
What Triggers the Check Engine Light?
Schedule Brake Repair as Part of Routine Auto Maintenance
Why Does My Car Need Scheduled Auto Maintenance?
Restore MPGs with Routine Auto Maintenance
Top Qualities of a Dealership Alternative
Could Your Vehicle Benefit from a Wheel Alignment
How to Tell if it is Time for Transmission Service
Is Time for Major Engine Repair?
What is a Fluid Flush?
Keeping Up with Scheduled Auto Services
What is Factory Auto Maintenance?
3 DIY Auto Maintenance Tips
Top 5 Reasons Your Car Won't Start
Creating of a Fleet Vehicle Preventative Maintenance Plan
Does this mean I need brake repair?
5 Times you Need to Visit an Auto Repair Shop
Are You Keeping Up with Oil Changes?
6 Tips for Raising Your Miles Per Gallon
Finding Top Notch Auto Repair Services
How do I know if I Need Suspension Repair?
Easy Tips to Extend the Life of Your Car
What is Scheduled Auto Maintenance?
How Important is Tire Pressure?
5 Signs of a Failing Ignition
3 Signs it is Time for Clutch Repair
Does my car need new tires? Here's how to tell!
What is Leaking from my Car?
The Major Benefits of Quality Replacement Auto Parts
Top 7 Auto Electric Problems
How can an Auto Repair Shop become a NAPA AutoCare Center?
5 Transmission Troubles that Require Repair
5 signs it's time to make an appointment for brake repair
What Causes a Car Battery to Die?
Hard Starting: Does my car need a new starter motor?
Does my Car need an Engine Rebuild?
Fuel Delivery Failure: Common Fuel System Repairs
How to find a great auto repair shop in Palo Alto
Common Reasons the AC isn't Cold
Pee-Yew! The Smells of Car Repair
Why do Vehicles have so Many Computers?
What Does Colored Exhaust Smoke Mean?
Does My Car Need an Alignment?
Bad Vibes: 3 Shakey Signs Your Car Needs Auto Repair
5 Signs of Alternator Failure
3 Symptoms of an Exhaust Leak
Why Does My Car Smell Funny?
Help! My Car Won't Start
3 Signs it's Time for Exhaust Repair
Why is My Car Loud?
4 Common Reasons the Check Engine Light Comes On
How to Save Gas and Money this Summer
Time For Brake Replacement? 6 Ways to Tell
6 Signs Your Car Needs Suspension Repair
Timing Belt Replacement
Understanding 30/60/90K Maintenance
4 Signs You Need Brake Service or Brake Repair
How Important are Regular Oil Changes?
Six Signs of Transmission Trouble
Preparing for Winter Driving