Winter is almost upon us and hence, so is winter driving. Before the first major snowfall hits your area of the country you should get your car ready for Winter. Here are 10 things you should check before driving this winter:
1. Tires Make sure the tires are in good condition. It's best to have them examined by a mechanic if you’re not sure how to check whether your tires are safe to last the winter months. Examine tires for uneven wearing, and remaining tread life; check the sidewalls for cuts or punctures. Check tire pressure. Verify your spare tire is fully inflated and make sure all of the tire-changing equipment is in place and functions properly. Rotate your tires as recommended by your manual.
2. Check and Change the engine oil. Change your oil and oil filter according to what your manual states. It's best, for city driving, to change the oil at least every 3,000 miles. Also, make it a habit to check your oil level every time you fill up your gas tank.
3. Check out the hoses and belts. Make sure there is no cracking or fraying. Also, ensure no fluids are leaking. If your car “screams" when idling, that's a good sign one of your belts is loose or going out. Have it inspected and changed or tightened immediately.
4. Replace the windshield wipers. It's best to have new ones prior to the first snow fall. Also, make sure your windshield washer fluid reservoir is full of actual washer fluid (not water).
5. Ignition System Starting up a car in cold weather is rough on the ignition system. Have it checked before winter. It's best to have a tune-up.
6. . The Battery As part of the tune-up, most mechanics will test your battery as well. You need a very reasonable amount of Cold Cranking Amps (CCRs) in order for your battery to start your car during the cold months ahead. If your battery is more than a few years old, it's best to have it replaced.
7. Check your antifreeze The anti-freeze level should be checked during each refueling as well. Most places that change your oil will usually top off your antifreeze levels as well. If they don’t, just ask if they would, most will do at not extra charge.
8. Fuel It's best to keep your tank full during the cold spells ahead, that helps ensure the gas line doesn’t freeze. Also, you should periodically put some gas anti-icing mixture into your tank.
9. Lights Keep your headlights free of grime. Check them often, during “slushy" times of the winter, they can easily become too dark to be effective.
10. Emergency Kit Make sure you have an emergency kit in the back of your vehicle. You can put one together yourself but it's best to get one that has items specifically made for each purpose. For example, some kits come with a shovel, which is better than using a can or some other homemade device. Also, most kits come with some form of first-aid products.
Jeff Boyd is the Owner of http://www.safeautocar.com , A site that specializes in items and information to help make your driving experience a safe one. We specialize in the AAA brand of Emergency Car Kits. These are great gift ideas and shipping is free for pre-tax purchases of $100.00 or more. Multi-purchase discounts apply, visit http://www.safeautocar.com for more information.