Winterizing Your Car

Winterizing your car & making sure your automobile is ready for the hazards of winter driving is extremely important. Good maintenance practices can mean the difference in life and death in some situations

Winter weather conditions can wreak havoc on automobiles, especially if they are in poor condition. Care must be taken to see that all devices and parts are in good working order and that no problems exist that could cause the car to fail to operate properly. Below are some specific points that need attention when winterizing a car.

---Make sure that all belts and hoses are in good working order. Check for cracks in belts and soft areas on hoses. If a problem exists, replace the hose or belt. These parts are very inexpensive.

---Check battery for corrosion, clean cable ends and check for charging power. Batteries should be replaced if over four years old.

---Make sure that all oil and fluid receptacles are full. It is recommended that oil be changed at this time.

---Change wiper blades, if worn. Sand and dirt deposits ground into old blades can damage windshield glass. Never fill windshield wiper fluid reservoir with water. The proper type fluid is available inexpensively at auto parts stores.

---Flush the cooling system and replace coolant.

---If car is due for a tune-up (according to manufacturer's specifications), have this done in advance of the season.

---Check tire pressure on all tires and make sure that the spare tire is inflated properly. Also make sure that equipment for tire changing is in good repair.

---Have brakes checked to make sure there are no problems. Add brake fluid as needed.

---Spray WD-40 on all door and trunk locks to eliminate freezing. This lubricant is available at auto parts outlets as well as hardware stores.

---Keep a bag of cat litter in the trunk to use for traction on ice or in snow.

---Keep emergency articles in trunk in case of an accident or getting stranded in bad weather. These should include a small first-aid kit, flashlight, blanket, gloves, ice scraper, small shovel, etc.

---Make sure that the lights, defroster and heater are in working order. Replace any dead fuses.

---Try to avoid running out of gas in winter. Always try to keep at least half a tankful.

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