Brrrr! Your Car Needs Cold Weather Care Too!
Thankfully, we donít have the issues of our neighbors to the north who are dealing with record snow and ice. For the past two years, our winters have been chillier than many of us can recall, so now is a good time to follow these simple tips to ensure that your car stays our version of winter ready.
1. Your Tires. These are the most important to check and make sure they are properly inflated. Even though we donít get ice and snow, weíve all experienced the slick roads right after it starts to rain. Your ownerís manual has the proper inflation levels for your tires, and a quick visual check can be very reassuring. Also look at the treads on your tires. Are there any spots that look worn? Also look for any foreign objects, like nails or screws. Itís also good to make sure your tires are rotated on a regular basis. This helps with optimum performance, which means better gas mileage for starters!
2. The Battery. Again, a quick visual check can easily let you know if there are problems. Look at the connections to make sure there are no signs of corrosion. You can easily clean dirty battery cables with water and baking soda, but always use gloves and protective eye wear. If your battery is more than two years old, itís a good idea to have your technician check the charge. Another thing you can do is trickle charge your battery overnight once a month by using a 10 amp charger. With all the electronics included with vehicles now, itís a good idea to make sure your car battery is fully charged so that it will last longer. Itís aggravating when you get in your car and it wonít start.
3. The Oil. Most car manufacturers recommend a thinner grade of oil for colder temperatures. Fortunately, multi-viscosity oils used today already help ensure you have the right type for your car and the weather. Your technician can also make sure you use whatís best for your car.
4. Belts and Hoses. Look for any weaknesses, as colder temperatures can make them brittle and break.
5. Emergency Kit. Itís always a great idea to keep a few basics in your trunk in case you have car trouble. Such items in your kit should include a flashlight, jumper cables, duct tape, baking soda, paper towels, a medical first aid kit, gloves and water.
By taking a few minutes to check these things on your car, you can save yourself time and money. Stay warm and drive safe!
Johnny Nocera has been on the radio airwaves in Southwest Florida with ďDr. Johnnyís Car ClinicĒ WGUF New Radio 98.9 FM every Saturday morning from 9-10 for over 27 years. He also owns, along with his sons Jr. and Jimmy, Supreme Auto and Collision located in downtown Naples, and has been in business for more than 38 years.