If you are like me, you don’t want your car to break down in any season, but especially during the winter! Get a head start to the season by ensuring your vehicle is performing its best. You should visit your local mechanic for a tune-up and other maintenance. But there are some things that you can and should be able to check and fix on your own. You CAN do your own winter car care — here’s how!
Inspect the following items:
- Battery Cable & Terminals
- Drive Belts
- Tire Tread
- Tire Pressure
- Air Filter
- Cabin Air
- Filter Lights
- Wiper Blades
- Washer Fluid
- Fluids (Coolant, Transmission, Brake, and Power Steering)
Your vehicle’s wiper blades need to be inspected on a regular basis for wear. Manually inspect them for signs of wear, but also make it a point to NOTICE while driving in the rain or snow if they are working effectively. You don’t want to be caught with poorly functioning wiper blades during severe weather! If you discover it’s time for replacement, we have a simple procedure! But, first, let’s discuss the importance of replacing your blades as well as how often you should be replacing them.
Why is it important to replace your wiper blades?
The blades are made out of rubber, which can wear even with limited use. Ensuring that they are in their ideal condition will help keep you and your passengers safe. When driving in sheets of rain, snow, or sleet, your visibility will be limited with worn-out blades, as they will hinder your ability to clear the windshield.
How often should you replace your wipers?
Tire World has a great selection of windshield wipers. You’ll want to determine the correct length first by checking the length of your wipers with a tape measure or finding the size in the owner’s manual. You can also ask one of Tire World’s service advisors to look up the size by the year, make, and model of your car.
How do I replace my wiper blades? View my video on installing wiper blades!
Jump-starting a car battery
Unfortunately, most people are going to experience a dead battery throughout their driving years – it is just reality. You might come out of the shopping center after a marathon night of holiday shopping only to realize you have left your lights on and your battery has died. Other things that can cause a dead battery are extreme cold, age, and improper care of your battery. Most likely you are not going to be thrilled about waiting 45 minutes for road service, so investing in a portable starter or set of jumper cables is a must.
Advance Auto Part’s Do-It-Yourself guide to jump-starting a car battery in 5 minutes
Taking the correct precautions when starting a dead battery can prevent dangerous outcomes. Jumping a battery is an easy procedure, but you must be certain to follow specific steps to avoid explosion and electrical system damage.
- Use one of the (+) positive red jumper cables to clamp to the dead battery’s (+) positive post.
- Take the other (+) positive red jumper cable to clamp to the working battery’s (+) positive post.
- Use the (-) negative black jumper cable on the identical end of the jumper cable to clamp to the (-) negative black post of the working battery.
- Extremely Vital! Use the other (-) negative black cable to connect to an unpainted clean metal surface under the hood of the disabled vehicle. DO NOT use the (-) negative black cable to connect to the post of the dead battery. An explosion could result.
- Start the ignition on the working vehicle and allow the engine to run for five minutes while the jumper cables are connected. Attempt to start the ignition of the disabled vehicle. If needed, move the (-) negative black cable clamp for a better connection.
- If you choose to use a portable jump starter kit in lieu of jumper cables, it can be stored in the vehicle’s trunk. You will need to connect the unit to the dead battery utilizing steps 1-4.
So there you go…two more easy car care items that you can do yourself. Best of all, it will make your winter driving experience a little more enjoyable so you don’t end up becoming a “road popsicle” stranded on the side of the road.
Jessica is a Service Advisor at Tire World Auto Centers.