Preparing your vehicle for winter weather is a smart proactive practice that helps reduce maintenance costs. It can also extend the life of your vehicle and keep it looking newer longer. And, hey, a clean, well maintained car is just more fun to drive. Here are important steps you can take to make sure your vehicle is ready to roll this fall.
1. Check the Battery
A battery can experience poor performance in cold temperatures. It should be tested to ensure it still has plently of life for the upcoming cold season. Sometimes what seems to be a weak battery merely requires cleaning the clamps while other times it can mean replacing the cables that connect the battery to the car. Knowing the age of the battery will help you determine its life span. Keeping battery terminals free of corrosion will help increase its durability.
2. Oil and Fluids
An oil change is a good way to start your tune-up for the winter. Oil should be changed based on the manufacturer’s instructions. For many modern cars this means changing to fresh oil about every 5,000 to 7,500 miles. Failing to change the oil regularly can cause rough engine starts. If oil is low it will cause lack of lubrication, which will wear out engine parts. Ultimately, completely neglecting oil will lead to replacing a damaged engine.
3. Brakes and Tires
Tires play a huge role in vehicle safety on many levels. Not only should the tires be replaced periodically to avoid rolling on dangerously worn tread, the brakes should be inspected to make sure they aren’t worn. Part of an effective brake test involves making sure the vehicle can stop safely on a wet surface. If you live in a snowy climate consider using snow tires, which last longer and are more reliable for winter driving. To ensure maximum control of your tires, you should check the air pressure periodically to make sure they are neither over-inflated nor under-inflated.
4. Set Proper Antifreeze Levels
Antifreeze is the liquid added to the radiator designed to lower the freezing point. The combination of antifreeze and water is known as coolant. This additive prevents the buildup of ice and overcomes the problems water poses as a heat transfer fluid and protects metal from corrosion. A proper mix of coolant according to the manufacturer’s specifications protects the engine and allows for a wide range of temperature tolerance.
5. Ready for Emergencies
One of the best ways to prepare for a variety of emergencies is to develop an emergency road kit, which should include first aid supplies such as bandages. Other handy items in case your vehicle breaks down in the cold should include a warm blanket, jacket, and gloves. If you live in a snowy climate you may want to include a shovel and an ice scraper, along with a flash light and snacks.
6. Full Service Auto Detailing
Your vehicle will look newer and shinier with full service auto detailing, which includes an exterior wash and wax treatment. The interior work includes wiping down upholstery, polishing surfaces, vacuuming, and window cleaning. Full service detailing may include exterior touch-up paint and sealing work. Brushing and steam cleaning may be used to restore interior carpets and mats.
7. Why Professional Wax is Necessary
After the exterior has been washed and dried, it’s helpful to add wax as a protection layer that will also add aesthetic value. Keep in mind that the car’s paint must be in good condition for the wax to work properly. Waxing will help provide a coat that protects your vehicle from scratches, dents, and other damage.
Z-One is your one-stop-shop to get your vehicle ready for the winter roads, and now is a great time to check that off your to-do list. Contact Z-One today to schedule a full-service detail cleaning to get your car ready for the upcoming season.