The changing of summer into fall marks the perfect time to get your car winter ready. You don't want to wait until it's too late – the cold weather comes faster than you think! These maintenance tips can help you get your vehicle ready for winter.
6 Tips for Winter Car Care
Don't drive in the snow, ice, and rain unprepared. Winterize your vehicle with an easy routine maintenance stop at your local auto shop, or go hands-on and run through the tasks yourself.
We have a list of tips to keep your car in tip-top shape to get ready for the coming winter. Make sure that you pay attention to these six areas of your vehicle:
- Tires: Make sure to check your tires for both air pressure and wear. Don't try and ride out the winter on tires that are losing tread. After all, they're the only thing between you and the road.
- Engine: Keeping your engine tuned and in good working order makes everything better when it comes to driving your car. Maintenance issues, especially engine problems or faulty sensors that go unchecked, could gum up your engine, making driving more difficult and dangerous.
- Fluids: Fluids need to be checked regularly, and may need to be flushed or filled before winter snow settles in. Make sure you have plenty of antifreeze and that all the fluids in your vehicle look, feel, and smell the way they should. Don't forget that not all fluids are created equal, and putting the wrong stuff in your car could spell disaster.
- Filters: Believe it or not, your vehicle needs to breathe, too. A clogged or dirty air filter can cause systems to run less efficiently, which could cost you gas mileage. Replacing an air filter can also improve acceleration and overall car performance, and keep you from breathing bad air which can circulate in the cabin of your vehicle.
- Wipers: Pre-winter is the perfect time to change out your old wiper blades. It’s no fun losing a blade during an ice storm or while driving in the snow.
- Miscellaneous repairs: How often have you told yourself it's time to replace a loose gas cap, or a chewed up piece of weather stripping? Making small repairs such as these can lead to a car that's more comfortable for you and your passengers, and depending on the repair, could help your vehicle run more smoothly for a long time to come.
Vehicle Care for Fuel Efficiency
Now is also a great time to put some extra cash into your car since gas prices seem to be sticking at a low – $2.18 on average across the U.S, according to AAA. You could put the savings from the pump into vehicle care, improving car function, and keeping your vehicle more fuel efficient which leads to even more savings on gas!
Many things that you may not even think of can impact your car's fuel efficiency. Here are a few things to think about courtesy of Car Care Council:
- Driving on properly inflated tires can improve your vehicle's fuel efficiency by around 3%.
- Improperly maintained engine oil can kill your car's fuel efficiency, while proper engine oil grade can improve gas mileage by around 2%.
- A properly tuned engine improves fuel efficiency by around 4%.
- A bad oxygen sensor in your vehicle can decrease fuel efficiency by around 40%!
- Loose or missing gas caps allow gas to vaporize, making you have to fill up more often.
When the time comes to get your car prepared for the long cold months, it's a good idea to have a checklist to go over. Make sure you don't miss any of the steps in your vehicle's maintenance schedule.
Need a Car to Care For?
If you long to be doing a winter maintenance routine, but don't have a car to take care of, Drivers Lane wants to help. We work with a nationwide network of special finance dealerships that have the lending resources you need to get into a vehicle – even if you're struggling with credit issues.
To get the process of finding your next car started today, simply fill out our fast, free, and easy auto loan request form. After you do, we'll get to work on connecting you with a local dealer!