It’s getting colder in Oklahoma, and the temperatures are going to continue to drop in the coming months. As you battle to keep warm, it’s equally important that you make sure you are as prepared as possible to stay safe on the road. One way to do this is with some preventative maintenance. Here are several winter car maintenance tips to ensure that your vehicle runs smoothly and safely all the way through until the spring thaw.
Check Tire Air Pressure and Condition
Tire blowouts on icy or slushy roads can be a mess to handle. Tires that don’t have sufficient tread can be dangerous and might cause your vehicle to slide off of the road, causing serious injury. First, check the pressure on your tires at least once a month. You can find the correct PSI for your tires in your owner’s manual or inside the driver’s doorjamb. Next, inspect the tread on your tears for wear and make sure you have a spare on hand. If you haven’t invested in all-season tires, you might want to think about this as an additional safety measure.
Oil and Filter Change
If you’re almost due for an oil change, schedule one before the winter weather gets too intense. Follow your manufacturer’s recommendations for oil unless you are planning to do some extreme towing or head to a hot environment. In these cases, speak to your mechanic about whether or not a synthetic engine oil is a better choice.
Check all Lines and Hoses for Leaks
Lines and hoses in your engine could crack in the cold and begin to leak. Your vehicle’s systems and engine need different fluids to operate efficiently. If those fluids are on the garage floor instead of where they’re supposed to go, you’re likely to have issues.
Replace Wiper Blades
Most of us put off replacing wiper blades, which doesn’t make sense because it’s a quick and simple task that makes the driving experience much safer. Try to put this on your schedule for about every six months. Many auto parts stores will switch out the blades for free once you’ve checked out.
Test Your Battery
When the temperatures drop to zero degrees, your battery’s cranking power is cut in half. Considering all batteries begin losing some power as they age, it’s essential that you test your car’s battery about every six months to make sure you won’t get stranded. Again, many repair shops and even auto parts stores will do this for free.
Top Off Fluids
It’s not only inconvenient to have to top off fluids on the road, but running out during inclement weather can also be dangerous. Check that your windshield wiper fluid is filled to the brim and make sure that your vehicle’s coolant is topped off as well.
Check Air Filters and Heater
When you take your car in for an oil change or other minor maintenance, ask the service tech to also check your air filter. If it’s time to replace it, go ahead and take care of this. Also, make sure that your heater is working properly so that you and your family will stay toasty warm while on the road.
Get a Car Inspection
When you get your oil changed, have your tires rotated, or take your vehicle in for any other minor work, ask the mechanic to perform a standard car inspection so that you can head off any issues before they become critical, potentially dangerous, and expensive.
Braving the Oklahoma winters is stressful enough without also having to worry about car issues. Use these guidelines to keep your vehicle in top shape so that you can prevent stress and costly breakdowns this winter.