October is Car Care Month, and that means it’s time to think about getting your vehicle ready for the Winter months. You know the struggles – avoiding black ice, clearing the snow off your vehicle, and waiting for your vehicle to warm up. Follow these maintenance tips so you have one less thing to worry about when driving on those snow-covered roads.

Check/Change your wipers

Most wiper blades are only good for six months to a year, so if your windshield is getting streaky when it rains, now is the time to replace them. There are already plenty of risks during the winter months, and adding reduced visibility will only make it worse. While you’re checking the wear of your current wipers, it’s a good idea to top off your wiper fluid to keep your windshield clear of salt and precipitation.

Check your battery

During the cold weather, your battery slows down, causing your engine to require more current from your battery to the starter.  To avoid battery related car troubles this winter, check your battery terminals and wires for rust, cracks, and proper connections and have your battery tested to make sure it’s properly charged and has enough power to handle the winter.

Tire Pressure

The cold weather can cause your tires to drop in pressure about 1 PSI for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit that the temperature drops. When your tires have low air, it can affect the way our vehicle handles, increases the chances of a blown tire and decrease your fuel efficiency. So make sure they’re properly inflated! You can check what the proper PSI for your vehicle’s tires by looking at the sticker on the inside of the driver door.

Tire tread & type

Winter roads can be tricky between the snow, ice, and cold weather. This means that not only are your tires taking a beating, but they’re also playing an extra important role in keeping you safe. Tire tread is what allows you to grip and not slide. Not only do you want to check the tread depth, but you also want to consider the type of tire you are using. Consider snow tires for passenger vehicles or all-terrain tires for trucks during winter.

Have an emergency kit in your car

 Dealing with a flat tire, fender bender, or your car breaking down is stressful enough without adding the cold weather to the mix. Keep these items in your car to make these situations less stressful in case they do occur: jumper cables, water, warm blanket, first-aid kit, jack & tire iron, road flares or reflective triangle, flashlight, extra food, and some kitty litter or sand for traction in case you get stuck somewhere.

Wintertime can be a beautiful and magical time of the year. Freshly fallen snow, warm nights by the fire, building a snowman, hot cocoa, and the holidays all make it a time to look forward to! Keeping up on the maintenance of your vehicle and preparing for the season ahead will ensure that you focus on those wonderful things without having unnecessary vehicle stresses. Stop into your local Jim Shorkey Dealership to schedule a time for those checkups!

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