Winterizing Your Car

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The cold weather, snow, slush and rain can really do a number on your car.  We have Lisa Vasquez from Valvoline Instant Oil Change to run through a checklist to help you get ready for winter.

1) Coolant
The rule of thumb for changing the fluid is simple: never exceed your vehicle manufacturer`s recommendation. Even if the fluid looks relatively fresh, anti-freezes include chemicals that lubricate water pumps and inhibit engine corrosion. These chemicals lose their punch at the end of the recommended lifetime. Our technician is checking the temp of the antifreeze(insert proper temp gauge here)

2) Wiper Blades: If your wiper blades are marginal, they probably won’t hold up well under the assault of salted-road slush.  Annual replacements would be a wise decision for best visibility. Also check to see whether you’ve picked up a few windshield dings, because this is a critical time to have them repaired. The combination of cold air temperature and a warm auto interior can quickly escalate a ding into a serious crack.

3) Washer Fluid Level:  Most washer solvents are only good to 10 degrees below zero, which for most of civilization is adequate. But in the northeast, where temperatures can dip well below freezing, it`s probably best to find washer solvent that works down to 20 degrees below zero.

4) Belts/Hoses:  Have all your vehicle`s belts and hoses checked: Cracked, frayed, or worn rubber may not make it through the winter. Freezing temperatures and winter driving conditions put an added strain on the engine. Plus, a breakdown because of an inexpensive hose or belt is doubly annoying on a winter night.

5).  Exterior Lamps:  Make sure all your exterior and interior lights are working. In the depth of winter, most or all of your commute driving might be in the dark, so have your headlamps, backlights, brake lights, back-up lights – even your license plate, engine compartment, cabin and trunk lights checked.

6. Battery Strength:  If your battery is one year or older, routine testing is a good recommendation.   It’s far easier to deal with an aging battery now, on a pleasant fall weekend, than a totally dead one in the dreary dark of winter. Also note that a weak battery and/or alternator may not be able to deliver the amperage required for a winter-cold start.