Below are Tips to Keep your Car in Peak Condition
Keep the Battery in Good Shape
Cold temperatures reduce a battery’s cranking power. In fact, at about 0° F, a battery has only about half the cranking power it has at 80° F. In general, car batteries last about 3 to 5 years. If it’s more than five years old and shows any signs of weakness, replace the battery with a top-rated model.
If your battery is more than 5 years old, it should be professionally tested at a certified automotive center.
Replace Wiper Blades
Our tests have found that even the best-performing wiper blades start to lose their effectiveness in as little as six months. Snow, salt and cold can damage wiper blades even quicker. Streaks or missed areas of glass are sure signs that the blades are ready for retirement. We recommend replacing wiper blades as often as twice per year and most wiper blades are easy to install.
Clean the Windows
If you can’t see out the windows, you’re a danger to yourself and everyone on the road. Don’t try to use the wipers to remove ice from the windshield. Instead, use an ice scraper on frosty mornings. If you park outside, place the wipers in the raised position when it’s going to snow overnight to prevent them from freezing to the windshield.
Check the Oil
Cold weather can beat up your engine, too. Motor oil thickens when temperatures dip, making it harder for the engine to turn over. Check your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendation and service interval. Whenever you have the oil changed, replace the oil filter as well, to ensure the system has the maximum amount of flow. Consider a quality oil additive to maximize performance and engine protection.
While the car is in the shop, have the radiator and heater hoses checked signs of wear, cracks, leaks, or contamination from oil or grease. The hoses should be firm, yet pliable when you squeeze them. Scrap them if they feel brittle or overly soft.
Consider New Tires
Spinning out in the snow and ending up in a ditch isn’t the best way to discover that your tires are worn out. Don’t delay in purchasing a new set of tires, as your safety depends on tire traction. Winter-grade tires tend to be in short supply when the snow begins to fall.
If your area gets occasional snow, a new set of all-season tires should do the job. Look for a highly rated set that has performed well in our snow-traction and ice-breaking tests. Remember that it’s safest to replace all four tires at one time
Keeping Your Vehicle Cleaned
Dirt, mud, and salt residue being kicked up off the road, will damage the exterior of your vehicle paint. Having your vehicle washed in between snow storms will protect the life of exterior paint and keep your car looking good all winter long.
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