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Cold weather brings with it a new spread of potential issues for your car, so it’s even more important this time of year to prioritize car maintenance service ahead of time. After all, your car only knows one way to communicate its problems: mechanical failure. That being said, here are five things you can check on your car – at no cost to you – to make sure it’s thoroughly winterized.

 

Your Tires

The tread on your tires is easy to check – all you need is a penny! Place the penny upside down, with Lincoln’s head facing you, into several grooves of the tire. If Lincoln’s head goes down into the grooves, you’re good to go! If not, replace your tires as soon as possible. Talk to a mechanic about switching to winter tires if you are facing particularly harsh weather.

Tire pressure can also be adversely affected by cold weather. Just a ten-degree change in the air can cause the fluctuation of one PSI (if you don’t know what that is, it’s significant)! Check your tire pressure regularly and refill as needed. You can find the recommended pressure on the tire or in the car’s manual.

 

Your Fluids

The next time you take your car in for an oil change service, ask the mechanic what viscosity of oil is ideal for colder weather. Also check the properties of your antifreeze, brake fluid, transmission fluid, and wiper fluid to make sure they are suitable for dropping temperatures. 

Mechanics at the auto shops in Hixson and Chattanooga can help you find the right fluids for the season.

 

Your Battery

Cold weather can negatively impact your battery’s power, especially if your battery is already old or malfunctioning. Talk to your local mechanic about evaluating your battery’s performance capacity before testing it against harsh weather. If necessary, replace your battery. A dead engine in the wintertime is an inconvenient – and potentially dangerous – situation. 

 

Your Wipers

Don’t let a storm catch you blind! Freeze-resistant wiper fluid and winter wipers are critical for safe driving in winter months, so make sure both are in order before risking the compromise of your vision and safety. Convenience stores and mechanic shops carry winter wipers, and your vehicle’s manual will outline steps to replenish wiper fluid.

 

Your Insurance

The suspension of your insurance during the winter months is not a viable option, so double-check with an agent to make sure everything is in order in case of an accident. Even if you take all the necessary precautions for winter driving, other drivers might not. You don’t want to be surprised by an incomplete policy, especially since winter car accidents tend to be more severe.           

Remember, your engine can’t always communicate problems ahead of time, so preparing for the unique challenges of winter weather is essential for your safety. Bring your car in to the auto shops in Hixson and Chattanooga for professional advice on your tires.