Winter seems to drag on, doesn’t it? Every time the weather starts getting warm, the cold temps come out in full force. Even recently, when we enjoyed a nice upper 70s day, snowfall followed just a few days after. As a result, we’re still a long way from spring and there’s no better time to discuss how you can prepare your car for the harsh winters Montour County, PA residents are still enduring. One way you can prepare your car for cold temps is by getting preventative maintenance, such as getting your tires checked and rotated. Learn more below.
Examples of Preventative Maintenance
Generally speaking, people tend to be reactive rather than proactive. In other words, by the time a vehicle is brought into the mechanic, it’s already suffering an issue that could have been avoided with preventative maintenance.
While there are many advantages of having preventative maintenance, such as keeping more money in your pocket and reducing your risk of being without a vehicle for a prolonged amount of time, the ultimate goal is to make sure you and your loved ones are protected in the event of an emergency – especially during a cold winter’s night in Montour County.
Here are just a few of the most common preventative maintenance services Montour County drivers can use this winter season:
Check Your Fluids
Your car runs on a variety of fluids, including antifreeze, power steering fluid, wiper fluid, and transmission fluid. As such, all of these fluids serve a different purpose in allowing your vehicle to function as it should.
Running out of these during the winter season can leave you sitting in your car in the cold until help arrives – or in the worst-case scenario, walking outside in the bitter cold to get to your nearest auto repair shop or find towing assistance. The same applies to an oil change, as going without oil changes for a prolonged period puts you at risk of engine loss. Before you head out, always make sure your fluids are topped off and schedule an oil change every 3,000 miles or so that you drive.
Change Your Tires
In the event of poor weather conditions such as snow or sheets of ice, you’re going to be depending on your tires. However, since they are constantly exposed to road hazards and poor weather conditions, they are at risk of wearing out. Once the tread on your tires wears down, it will be more difficult to effectively grip the road, which can put you at risk of a motor vehicle accident during the winter.
Before you leave your house, whether on your way to work or on a road trip, make sure the tires are sufficiently filled with air. You should also schedule a routine checkup for your vehicle’s tires to make sure your alignment is okay.
Confirm That Your Heater is Working
It’s winter, so you definitely want to make sure that your heater is working as it should. A broken heater can make an already long drive feel even longer in the winter. Aside from comfort, one of the main reasons you should confirm your heater is working is so you can be comfortable and safe if your car breaks down on the side of the road. Waiting for help in the bitter cold can be not only mentally hard to deal with, but it can expose you to many cold-weather risks such as hypothermia. If you notice that your heater isn’t working as it used to, get it looked at as soon as possible.
Check Your Battery
Without a battery, your car can’t run, so you want to always make sure it’s in good working condition. Think of your car battery as the heart of your vehicle; it powers all the other functions inside the vehicle such as running the heater, turning on headlights, and operating your windshield wipers. If your battery isn’t running, neither are any of these functions you need during the winter season.
Also, go ahead and check your battery’s terminals for mineral buildup, or take it into an auto repair shop to get it tested. This simple step can save you a boatload of trouble moving forward.
Keep It Full (At Least Half)
As a teenager, how often did your parents tell you to never have less than half of a tank of gas? Well, their wisdom is absolutely true. The more gas you have in your tank, the easier it’ll be to prevent the gas lines from freezing over. During our harsh Montour County winters, you can imagine how important this step is! Secondly, keeping your tank low puts you at risk of running out of gas in an area where gas stations aren’t available. If you’re heading out for a drive, a good rule of thumb is to always have at least half a tank of gas.
Inspect the Outside of Your Vehicle
If it starts to snow while you’re driving around Montour County, you need your headlights and windshield wipers to work. This is why you should routinely inspect the outside of your vehicle to see if your wipers are worn down or cracked. If they are, it’s a great time to replace them. Furthermore, if your headlights are dull or aren’t working, get them replaced so you have proper vision while driving in poor weather conditions.
Though it may sound odd, one thing you can do before you leave home is grab a can of cooking spray and keep it in your car throughout the winter season. If the temps are expected to drop, you can spray this on the rubber lining on the inside of your car door, as it will help prevent them from freezing in the cold.
Remove Obstructions From Your Windows and Windshield
People should never drive around with snow or sheets of ice on their windows or windshield, as it can cause a driving hazard for everyone on the road – including yourself. Keep an ice scraper and de-icer in your car to help remove snow and ice if it falls onto your vehicle while you’re at work, visiting friends and family, or running errands.
Prepare for the Winter Season by Obtaining Preventative Maintenance
Winter can be a lovely time of year, but it can also be incredibly dangerous for drivers in Montour County. Protect yourself against the unexpected by having preventative maintenance done on your vehicle.