For those who live in the northern half of the country, the four season climate is a key factor in their way of life. Spending time at the lake and having backyard barbecues quickly gives way to dressing in heavy coats and shoveling snow off the sidewalks. The coming of winter can be hard for many people, and it can be hard on your car too.
Cold weather can put a strain on many of your car’s mechanical and electrical systems. Oil becomes thicker and doesn’t flow as well. Batteries become weaker, making it harder to crank over the engine. An improper mixture of antifreeze can turn to gel and cause your engine to overheat. These are just a few examples of things that can crop up as you are trying to leave your house in the morning, or come home from work in the evening.
The best thing to do in preparation for the cold is to have your vehicle fully inspected by a trusted mechanic. They will go over all of your vehicle systems and alert you of anything that needs attention. For owners of older cars with high miles, I cannot stress this enough.
Other items to pay particular attention to are the condition of your tires, windshield, and headlights. Worn tires will not provide the traction you need when the roads get slippery. A cracked or chipped windshield impedes your visibility, especially when facing oncoming traffic at night. Headlight lenses can become foggy or yellowed over time, which significantly reduces their effectiveness. Now is a good time to inspect the rest of the lights on the car, and take a look at the wiper blades as well. And don't forget your ice scraper/snow brush while you are at it!
In addition to helping your car get you where you need to go, make sure to be prepared in case it doesn’t. Supplies to keep in your car include a warm blanket, non-perishable snacks, water, and a well stocked first aid kit. Make sure to always keep your gas tank at least half full so you can keep the engine running and the heater working in case you are stuck and waiting for assistance.
Take care of your car and it will take care of you. Of course, now is also a good time to decide whether your car is still reliable or if it’s time for an upgrade. If you are thinking about buying a new car, make sure to contact Clarity Automotive Group first!
Clarity Automotive Group is your personal “Car Buying Advocate.” We assist our clients with navigating the complicated and often frustrating process of buying vehicles. We are based in Billings, Montana and also serve the surrounding areas of Bozeman, Miles City, Helena, Great Falls, and Lewistown, as well as Cody, Lovell, and Sheridan, Wyoming.