Planning ahead can save you time and money
With fall in full swing and winter creeping up, it’s time to head to the dealership to check up on some of the things you’ve been putting off and to make sure your car is ready for whatever winter brings.
AAA recommends attention be given to a variety of vehicle components before the colder months strike, including (but not limited to):
- Battery and Charging System: A fully charged battery can be the difference between getting to work on time and being stuck in your driveway or out in the cold someplace. Your dealer’s service technicians know what to look for and will make sure your battery is ready or give you options if a new one is necessary.
- Drive Belts and Engine Hoses: Frayed or cracked belts should be replaced. Leaks and loose hoses require action, too.
- Tires and Tread: Even in regions where snow isn’t an issue, temperatures regularly below 45 degrees F affect rubber not specifically formulated for the cold, which includes “all season” tires, and can reduce tire performance substantially. In these parts of the country, switching to winter tires is recommended. In colder regions, the specially formulated tread rubber of winter tires ensures the best possible traction and handling. Tread depth less than 3/32 of an inch isn’t recommended, and neglecting this can lead to further issues down the road. Keep in mind that tire pressure also goes down as the temperatures get colder, so look on the inside of the door jamb for proper tire pressure levels. Factory trained service professionals can answer your questions and make recommendations specific to your make and model of vehicle.
- Lights: Make sure your turn signals, headlamps, taillamps, foglamps and other lights are working properly. If a bulb is burned out, the right replacements are in stock to get you back on the road quickly.
- Wiper Blades/Washer Fluid: As simple as this sounds, being able to see when the weather gets messy is imperative. If you see streaks or spots on your windshield when it rains, you may want to get a new pair of wiper blades. Since they vary by car, stop by and a new pair that’s meets the specifications of your vehicle can be installed. Check your wiper fluid frequently and keep the fluid reservoir filled. Your dealer’s service professionals will also check the fluid level and top it off, if necessary, when you are in for maintenance or repairs.
- Brakes: When the weather gets sloppy, your brakes play an even bigger role in occupant safety. Bring your car in to make sure all brake components are functioning properly. After a thorough inspection, any issues found will be brought to your attention, and problems, if any, can be addressed.
AAA also recommends you carry an emergency road kit containing the following items at all times:
- Sand or salt/traction mats
- Snow brush/ice scraper, shovel
- Jumper cables
- Windshield washer fluid
- Flashlight with spare batteries
- Cloth or paper towels
- Gloves, hats, blankets and extra clothes
- Flares or other warning devices
- Non-perishable food and drinking water
- First-aid kit and basic toolkit
- Mobile Phone with car charger, preloaded with Roadside Assistance phone numbers and, if applicable, account numbers.
These are only a few of the items that need to be checked before you head out this winter. Stop by today for a full inspection, to help ensure your car is running at its best and is ready for anything.