maintenance December 09, 2016

Make sure these 4 parts of your car are winter ready

Last winter the Virginia, Maryland and DC area survived a historical blizzard and brutal winter. Unfortunately, forecasters are predicting another extremely cold winter season this year. Before temperatures drop, check these 4 areas of your car:

1) Tire Tread

Uneven or excessive tread wear can cause major problems during the winter months. When roads are wet or icy your tires require more grip to brake and accelerate. To test your tire tread, do the Penny Test. Take a Lincoln Penny, hold it between your thumb and forefinger so that Lincoln's head is showing. Place the top of Lincoln's head into one of the grooves of the tire's tread. If any part of Lincoln's head is obscured by the tread, you have a safe amount of tread. If you can see above Lincoln's head, then you need new tires.

2) The Battery

Cold weather will cause your engine to need more current from your battery to start. Nothing is more inconvenient than trying to leave for work and realizing you have a dead battery. Here's an easy at home test: Turn on your headlights before you start your engine. Then turn your engine on. If the lights get brighter once the engine is running, your battery may be dying. If you are unsure of the results, visit any Wiygul Automotive Clinic store for a free battery voltage check.

3) Windshield wipers and fluid

Be sure your washer fluid has an anti-freeze solution. Also, if you haven;t replaced your windshield wipers within 6-12 months, be sure to do so before the first ice or snowstorm arrives.

4) Defroster and heater

Start your car on a cool fall morning and turn the heat on. Be sure the heat functions properly and stays consistent. Test your defroster and check for air leaks around the doors or windows that could allow extra moisture to get into the car.

Inspecting these parts of your car will help you be prepared and safe during the winter months.

Here's another helpful tip: Put an ice scraper in your car BEFORE the first ice or snowstorm arrives, your hands will thank you!


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