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Time to Winterize Your Vehicle

Winter is an especially good season for car battery sales. Though most of the wear on your car's battery was probably caused in the summer running the air conditioner, the freezing temperatures finish the already weakened battery.

The extreme temperatures can also cause belts and hoses to crack, and windshield wiper blades to wear.
Batteries should be checked to see if there are any signs of corrosion on cables or other areas and the charge should be checked by a mechanic to insure that the battery will last through the winter.

It's also a good idea to check the vehicles' fluids including: brake, power steering, anti-freeze and of course oil. Make sure each of these fluids are at the maximum recommended levels and that the anti-freeze is checked to insure proper protection. Too much water added to a radiator can cause the fluid to freeze at low temperatures.

Some people recommend a complete cooling system (radiator) flush. Check with an ASE certified mechanic as to their recommendation for your vehicle.

Check the tires to insure that there is sufficient tread life to prevent dangerous skidding on ice and snow covered roads. Also check the spare to insure that it is properly inflated.

You may also want to keep a shovel and some cat litter in your trunk to dig out and spread near your tires if you get stuck on a slippery road.

If you don't have an emergency kit in your car, it's a good idea to get one. Make sure that it contains safety flares or lights, a first aid kit, a flashlight, and other accessories in case of emergency.

You can also lubricate the door locks with a mild lubricant such as WD-40 to help prevent them from freezing.

Make sure that all of your car's lights are working; both exterior and interior. Replace any bulbs or fuses as needed.

It's also a good idea to keep at least a half tank of gas in your vehicle in case you have to drive through a storm. It's no fun filling the gas tank in torrential wind and snow!

Finally, even the slightest dusting of snow can freeze on your car's windows so have a good, dependable snow brush and scraper and try to keep it inside the vehicle as opposed to the trunk. I find that the larger these tools are, the easier they are to use.
No more CD cases as ice scrapers for me!
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Content copyright © 2013 by Stephen M. Hague. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Stephen M. Hague. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Stephen M. Hague for details.



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