Winter can be rough on cars, which makes auto maintenance in Lansing, MI essential for long term functioning. Cold temperatures offer different challenges to engines, so your maintenance will include different procedures than those used in the summer. Here are seven winter maintenance tips for your vehicle:
- Clean your “gutters”: You would never let debris build up in the gutters of your home—that just asks for problems later. The same is true of the air plenum, which is near the windshield of your vehicle. If this area attracts debris, it will interfere with water drainage, causing buildup and compromised functioning. For sunroofs, clean the seals and check for leaks. Debris buildup there can wear out seals, and one day during a rainstorm, you may face a bad surprise.
- Install winter tires: All-season tires work most of the time, and with front-wheel drive and anti-skid systems, people often believe they no longer need specialized tires. However, snow tires offer better traction with specialized tread and a wider, lower profile. You will find that they help handling and keep you safer on the road.
- Pay attention to your wiper blades: Low temperatures can wear out wiper blades faster. Since these are the difference between getting home safely or driving blind, you need to make sure they are in good condition. You can add life to wiper blades by propping them up when your car is parked for the night so they are not touching the windshield. (This makes scraping easier, too.)
- Consider getting a new battery: If you spent most of the summer finding people to jumpstart your car due to an old battery, that battery is likely to become dead for certain in the winter. Winter temperatures put more stress on batteries, and if you are long overdue for a replacement, consider doing it now before you are stranded.
- Maintain coolant levels: Coolant does not need to be flushed too frequently unless it becomes dirty or another problem with the system makes it necessary. The important thing here is to check for leaks and make sure you are never lacking for coolant. This is a vital element to keeping your car heated, so have any coolant system issues repaired as soon as possible.
- Inflate tires: Tires lose one pound of air for every drop of 10 degrees Fahrenheit. If underinflated, you will not move through snow as safely or efficiently. Check for low tires in the morning, and keep a tire gauge in your glove box. When you notice they are low, inflate them to factory standards for better fuel efficiency and traction.
- Keep a kit for emergencies: Keep supplies in your car in case you are stranded. One of those shiny thermal blankets available at camping stores could be a lifesaver, and it can easily fit in your glove box. This can prove essential if you flip your car and are unable to get to a kit that is in the trunk. Also keep items like jumper cables and flashlights for those times when you need them. If you must take a long winter road trip, bring extra batteries for flashlights, too.
For skilled auto maintenance in Lansing, MI, as well as any necessary repairs, contact PFS Auto Repair. We can help make winter easier on your car.