As winter approaches, it is important to have a vehicle that will function properly and can provide you the transportation you will need despite the weather conditions. For this reason, it is a good idea to prepare your vehicle for winter by completing the maintenance and replacing items, when necessary. Here are three areas to help you prepare your vehicle for this winter's cold, snow, and ice.
Complete an Oil Change
The oil in your vehicle is responsible for keeping its engine components well-lubricated and running smoothly. The more you run your vehicle and the more it is used in harsh conditions, the more frequently you will need to change its oil. For example, if you drive your vehicle in traffic that is constantly stopping, requiring you to makes frequent stops and starts, or you pull a heavy load or trailer, this can cause your oil to become dirty more quickly. It is recommended to change your oil every 3,000 miles or every three months, whichever comes first. This replaces it with new oil to keep your vehicle's engine clean and free of build-up.
Along with changing out the oil when it becomes dirty, you will also need to change your oil filter when it becomes dirty. An oil filter removes the dirt and particles that collect in the oil as it filters through to lubricate your vehicle. Leaving a dirty filter in your vehicle can cause this dirt and other particles to flow through your engine, which can ultimately cause problems to your vehicle.
Although it is not necessary to change your oil filter every oil change, you should check its condition at each oil change to see if it is dirty and needs replacement. Depending on the age of your vehicle and its ability to filter oil contaminants, your oil filter may need to be changed out less frequently than your oil.
Check Your Tire Tread
Checking your vehicle's tire tread is an important item to complete before winter arrives. This will let you know if your tires have enough tread to properly grip the road during frequent snow and ice accumulation.
To check the tread on your tires, you can complete it easily with a quarter. Place a quarter into the tire tread of your vehicle, with the top of Washington's head into the tread. When the top of Washington's head touches the top of your tire's tread, you have at least 4/32-inch of tread remaining. This will provide your vehicle with improved traction and the ability to stop more quickly, especially in winter's wet weather.
In the past, it was recommended to use the penny test to make sure your vehicle's tires had a tread depth of at least 2/32-inch. But this test has been found to be unsafe, as it can cause your vehicle to not be able to stop properly in wet weather. Talk to your local tire distributor to replace your vehicle's tires when their tread becomes too low.
Maintain the Battery
The condition and age of your vehicle's battery will determine if it will continue powering your vehicle's components and start your vehicle during winter. An aging battery can begin to have problems in extreme weather temperatures, especially during winter. So in the fall before the low temperature hit, you should check your battery and have it replaced, as needed.
A vehicle battery lasts four to five years on average and should be replaced on this schedule. This recommendation can prevent your battery failing you when you go to start your vehicle. You can determine the age of your battery by the date stamp on its exterior, indicating when it was made. Take a vehicle to shops like Furgersons Garage to learn more about battery replacement and other vehicle maintenance steps.