It’s November! Time to Get Your Car Ready for Winter
The month of November is when you usually start getting your winter weather outfits ready. It’s also a good time to get your car prepped for the winter. Extreme winter temperatures and heavy snow are just around the corner, so it’s best to get your car in good working order now. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
Check Your Tires
Examine the tread, look for cupping and cuts on the sidewall of your car’s tires. If there is sign of much wear, replace them. Better yet, replace your tires with winter tires. Also check the air in the spare. If your car does not have a spare tire, pack an air compressor and a can of Fix-A-Flat.
Check the Brakes
Next to your tires, your brakes are the most important part of your car. Check their stopping power and see how your car stops in rainy weather.
Test the Battery
The worst time for your car battery to die is in the winter, when you are stuck in a snowstorm or an isolated road. Check for corrosion on your battery posts and cable connections, and make sure they are screwed on tightly. Better yet, have a trusted mechanic check your battery.
Check the Windshield
November can bring heavy rain and snow. Check your windshield for cracks. Make sure your windshield wipers are not damaged. Top off your washer fluid and use fluid that can withstand extreme winter temperatures.
Also check your car’s transmission fluid, brake fluid, and power steering fluid. Have them topped up if they are not at or above minimum safety requirements.
Test Defroster and Heater
Make sure your heater and defroster function. Temperatures to drop in November so expect frost-filled mornings.
Inspect the Lights
Make sure all your lights are clean and working. These include headlights, turning lights, brake lights, taillights, parking lights and emergency flashers. Consider switching to halogen lamps as they could improve your visibility on the road. Aftermarket LED bulbs can blind oncoming drivers.
Keep Your Car Clean
Washing your car regularly will remove the salt used to melt the ice and snow on roads. Give it an extra coat of wax especially behind the wheels, quarter panels and front grille to prevent corroding.
Check Your Emergency Kit
Your emergency kit should include jumper cables or a battery charger, tire inflation kit, shovel or spade, road flares, flashlight with extra batteries, a blanket, boots and warm coat, basic tool kit, duct tape, gloves and shop rags or paper towels, bottled water and non-perishable food. Be sure to bring enough cell phone chargers and battery backup for everyone in the car.
If this is all seems overwhelming, take your car to a licensed mechanic and get your car checked now, while you can. Don’t wait until the last minute or leave your safety to chance this winter.
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