This is the time to prepare your vehicle for the upcoming winter. Here are some tips:
- Check your windshield wipers: If your wipers are leaving streaks on your windshield or the rubber shows signs of cracking or stiffness, replace them with a new set. When it snows, make sure to use a brush and a scraper to remove ice and snow from the windshield rather than your wipers so you don't overload the motor trying to lift a heavy load of snow. Also, if your vehicle is parked outside during the winter, lift the wipers off the glass before it snows so that they don't freeze to the windshield.
- Check your tires: Check the tread on your tires to see that they are in good condition before the snow really starts falling. All-weather tires are generally okay during winter conditions, but some areas require tires with chains or tires with studs. If you typically drive in a lot of winter conditions, you might consider purchasing a pair of winter tires that you can swap out during the winter months.
- Warm up Your Car: Although newer cars can be put in gear and driven away as soon as they are started, that doesn't mean you should skip the warm-up entirely. A brief bit of idling time before you drive gives the oil a chance to heat up, thin out and flow more smoothly.
- Check your Battery: Make sure battery cables and terminals are secure and free from corrosion. You should also test your battery by turning on the headlights before starting the engine – if they get brighter once you start the engine, schedule an appointment with a mechanic for further electrical inspection.
- Check your Oil: Most newer cars use a multi-weight oil that is suitable for a wide range of temperatures, but some manufacturers recommend specific grades of oil for specific temperature ranges. Check your owner's manual and plan your oil changes so your engine has the right grade of oil for the right time of year.