Car Care: Prepare for Winter Weather

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Winter can be very harsh on automobiles so it is very important to keep up and maintain vehicles properly to avoid potential problems. Here are some tips from Comedy Driving to help keep the vehicle running smoothly and help prevent any issues.

Cold temperatures cause rubber seals to become dry and stiff, causing leaks in some the major components of a car’s engine. A few of the most common rubber items that wear and tear in dry winter conditions; hoses, wiring, supply lines, and any rubber belts. Hoses and rubber belts are susceptible to the same issues that a vehicles seals suffer from. The dry winter air can cause these imperative engine components to dehydrate while wearing down the rubber which may increase with severe temperature drops dramatically.

Next, you may want to check the vehicle’s air, fuel, and emissions filters. This should be done regularly, but more so during the winter as a vehicle works harder in harsh conditions. Keep in mind, that a clogged filter is the most problematic on an engine.

Similarly, this concept applies to the battery. A simple test at a local auto parts dealer can help. Comedy Driving, a Texas defensive driving course, recommends going to an auto part shop which often provides the service for free. In addition, examine the battery and remove any buildup of acid around the battery plates. Next, check the vehicles anti-freeze levels. Make they have been topped off, as the incorrect amount of fluid can be catastrophic to the engine.

Another important test is to inspect the vehicle’s tires to insure optimum performance during the winter season. Even the smallest of auto maintenance can make the biggest difference when in the position to avoid an accident or collision. It is best to check tires when they are cold. To be more specific, tires expand while driving due to the heat from friction so if the vehicle has been driven for more than two miles the reading would be inaccurate which creates a potentially dangerous situation if a vehicle is driven with the improper amount of tire pressure. Accordingly, assess the tread and weight for each tire to equal the manufacturers recommended level of pressure which can be found in the owner’s manual or near the VIN number on the inside crevice of the driver side door.

Planning to travel or carry extra heavy cargo? Always add a couple extra pounds of pressure to the back tires before doing so which promotes better gas mileage. Just remember to release the air back to the correct level, and most importantly; never rely on the eyeball method to gauge the tire pressure.

Generally speaking, vehicles windshield wipers should be replaced at least once a year. Neglecting replacement can hinder and alter a driver’s sight during snow, rain, and misty environments. A Texas defensive driving course, Comedy Driving, also recommends cleaning the windshield regularly. A clean windshield improves visibility at night when cars from the opposite lane approach with their headlights on. A dirty windshield may cause a glare and a blur that hinders good road visibility. Cleaning the windshield can also increase the life of the wiper blades which besides saving money on replacements.

Making sure vehicles are prepared to last through an entire winter season is well worth it. Even if it takes you a 2 or 4 hours to make sure everything is working properly, this just may prevent a car from breaking down at a very inconvenient time.

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Jeffrey Bitner
Comedy Driving Inc
+1 (713) 465-0042
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