Winter is rapidly approaching so we wanted to share with you some maintenance and preparation tips and ideas that you can use to make sure your car is running a little smoother and so you can drive safely in the snow and cold. The bitter cold of winter, just like the sweltering heat of summer, can cause a car to strain more and react differently than in what would be considered normal driving. Driving in the snow and ice is dangerous enough as it is but since we all have to get to our jobs or get the kids to school, here are some ways to stay safe and prepared. Before the heavy, wet snow falls and the dirt and salt gets kicked up on your windshield, make sure you’ve replaced your windshield wipers and windshield washer fluid. If you don’t think you need new windshield wipers, we recommend that you check them out and ensure the rubber is still good on them. The windshield washer fluid is fairly simple to put in the car and investing in a plastic funnel will make pouring easier. Since snow and salt on the roads is dirty, you most likely will use the fluid more frequently so it’s worth keeping a bottle in the trunk or the backseat. Windshield washer fluid also can help break up the ice and snow on the windshield. There’s something else that can hinder the view of the road and that is fogging. Make sure your defroster is working properly to help fight fogging. Your windows fog over because moisture from inside the car from our breath or from the snow we’re dragging in condenses on the glass but you can combat that fog easily if you have a working air conditioning system. If you’re finding that the windows are still fogging up even with the defroster on high then bring it in to our Waterford, MI shop for an inspection. The next thing to check out is the car battery. Car batteries are designed to last quite a few years – some as long as 7 years. If you’re nearing the 5 year mark though you may want to get your battery checked out and/or replaced prior to the cold seasons. The last thing you want is to head out of a store with your holiday shopping and the car won’t start. Before it starts to get really cold, take your car into an auto repair shop to have the battery inspected to make sure the cables and clamps are secure and to have it replaced if necessary. Finally, have an emergency kit in your car. You never know when you might be stranded, might have a dead battery or get into a car accident so having a small bag with a spare pair of gloves, blanket, flashlight, First Aid kit, road flare, things like that, is highly recommended. While food and water may seem like a good idea, water will probably freeze as will an energy bar so you might not want to carry that around. As long as your car has been properly maintained and the tires are safe for driving on slippery and icy roads, your car should be able to survive the winter okay. If you’re in the Waterford, MI area and you need service, bring it in and one of our mechanics will be happy to assist you.
April 2, 2016