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Winter is right around the corner, for those of us in the Midwest that means icy roads, snow drifts and road salt. That also means if you are living in an area that is affected by the change of seasons you should be thinking about winterizing your vehicle. The following list details the steps you should be taking in order to winterize your car and be prepared for the upcoming season…

Check Your Tire Pressure.

Check Your Tire Pressure.

Check Your Tires -

If you have snow tires which improve traction now is the time to think about having them put on. If you don’t live in a particularly cold area, you’ll probably just want to check and maintain the pressure in the tires you already have.Take a test drive. If your tires lose traction when you break hard on wet roads or if you lose traction accelerating uphill you will need to inflate your tires because they shrink in cold weather. In fact, for every 10-degree Fahrenheit change in temperature, your tire’s inflation pressure will change by about 1 psi. Plus inflated tires also help protect against wheel damage if you hit potholes.

This is also the time you’ll want to replace any lost or damaged hubcaps and wheel covers as they protect your wheel against the damaging corrosion caused by road salt.

Check Your Engine Fluids.

Check Your Engine Fluids.

Check Your Fluids -

If you didn’t change your anti-freeze last year, you’ll want to do it now. Your car’s antifreeze keeps your car’s engine, radiator and hoses from freezing, and it also prevents engine corrosion.You should also change your engine oil about now. Check with your owners manual to see what kind of motor oil your car needs in the winter. Most cars have recommended oil grades of 5W-30, 10W-30 or 10W-40.

Lube Those Hinges -

There’s nothing worse than being frozen out of your own car. To keep your doors opening and closing in even the coldest weather, applying some petroleum jelly to the door’s hinges and door latches.If it’s your lock that’s frozen, use a lighter or a match to heat the key briefly. Then put it into the lock and turn gently. You can also use a lock de-icer.

Check or Change Your Battery.

Check or Change Your Battery.

Check or Change Your Battery -

Cold temperatures can cut the life of your battery in half, mostly because it takes a lot more power to start your car when it is cold outside. And batteries don’t give any notice before they decide to quit. You can test your battery by buying a battery hydrometer from your local auto parts store. You will also want to make sure the cables have no corrosion and that the connections are tight.If your vehicle battery is older than three years, have it tested at a certified automotive repair facility, batteries tend to last about three years and then fail suddenly.

Prepare an Emergency Kit.

Prepare an Emergency Kit.

Prepare an Emergency Kit -

Get an emergency kit together to store in the back of your car. It should contain jumper cables, tire chains and a tool kit. Load up on a few pounds of kitty litter or sand in case you need to get out of a slippery situation, and keep an ice scraper and a shovel in the trunk.

Finally, don’t forget to stock up on flares, flashlights, blankets and first aid supplies.

If you have any questions, as always I value your feedback, you can contact me via the “Contact Us” link to the right, or if you prefer to call me directly I am here to answer your questions Monday through Friday 9 AM/CST – 5 PM/CST toll free at 1-888-482-2279!

Comments (0) Posted by Bill H. on Tuesday, December 28th, 2010