Follow these 9 steps to prepare your vehicle for Winter:
1 Have the battery and charging system checked for optimum performance. Cold weather is hard on batteries.
2 Clean, flush and put new antifreeze in the cooling system. As a general rule of thumb, this should be done every two years.
3 Make sure heaters, defrosters and wipers work properly. Consider winter wiper blades and use cold weather washer fluid. As a general rule, wiper blades should be replaced every six months.
4 Check the tire tread depth and tire pressure. If snow and ice are a problem in your area, consider special tires designed to grip slick roads. During winter, tire pressure should be checked weekly.
5 Be diligent about changing the oil and filter at recommended intervals. Dirty oil can spell trouble in winter. Consider changing to “winter weight” oil if you live in a cold climate. Have your technician check the fuel, air and transmission filters at the same time.
6 If you’re due for a tune-up, have it done before winter sets in. Winter magnifies existing problems such as pings, hard starts, sluggish performance or rough idling.
7 Have the brakes checked. The braking system is the vehicle’s most important safety item.
8 Have the exhaust system checked for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed.
9 Check to see that exterior and interior lights work and headlights are properly aimed.