Tis the season of mixed feelings. And there’s more happening than the bipolar weather that’s cold in the morning and hot in the afternoon.
We also have the mixed feelings happening between the excitement of embarking on a new school year and the dread of the upcoming winter weather.
And your car feels the same way.
Join Beck’s Auto Center, an auto repair shop in Lafayette, Indiana, as we cover the basics of getting your student’s vehicle ready to take on the impending snow drifts and single digit temps.
Prep Your Ride for Winter
Making your daily drive in warm and mild weather is one thing. But if you think you can operate the same way in the winter, you may end up taking the bus unexpectedly…
Cold weather is especially hard on motor vehicles. In a system with so many moving parts, things are surely to freeze up and take a little longer to get going—or fail to work entirely.
You know the drill. Just as your body has a hard time operating in cold weather, your car suffers the same way! Here are some basic maintenance tips to get your car ready for this harsh season to come!
Get a Grip – Check Your Tires
First of all, you should always do a visual inspection of your tires before driving. You at least want to make sure there’s enough air in them to get you around. If you drive on a flat tire, you’ll shred it to pieces—costing you way more money than a mere patch.
And for the upcoming season, you’ll want to take a look at the tread on your tires to make sure they’re up for driving in wet or snowy conditions. Some tire wear is clear to see, and it’ll be obvious whether new tires are in your future. But if you’re unsure, use the penny trick!
If you stick a penny between the tread of your tire, President Lincoln’s head should be cut off at the hairline. If it isn’t, you’re in need of new tires. This equates to having tread that’s over 2/32” deep.
Keep it Fluid – Check & Top Off
Another nasty effect of cold weather is the impact it has on the various fluids in your engine. You can think of these fluids as the lifeblood of your engine. They need to be fresh and at appropriate levels in order to do their good work of helping your car get you from point A to point B.
You’ll want to make sure your oil level is within the checkered marking on the dipstick. If it’s low, you may want to add some.
But be careful! Overfilling your engine with oil can cause engine problems!
And if your oil hasn’t been changed within your handbook’s specified mile range, it’s time for a change! Most cars need an oil change between 3,000 and 6,000 miles.
Your Best Safety Feature – Check Your Brakes
When people are asked what the most important safety feature on a car is, they will often say seatbelts or airbags.
But they’re wrong!
You guessed it though. It’s the brakes. If you can stop in time, you can avoid the need for seatbelts or airbags to deploy in the first place. Depending on the car, you might be able to take a peek at your brake parts through your rims.
Make sure there are no scratches on your rotors, which is a sign of improper wear. Also, if your brakes make a squeaking sound when you push down the pedal, you’re likely hearing the warning tabs, which are small bits of metal that scrape against your rotors to tell you it’s time to replace the brake pads.
You’ve Got the Power – Test Your Battery
There’s nothing worse than running late, scraping the windows, jumping in the car while juggling coffee and bags…and having nothing happen when you turn the key. Even with everything else in tip top shape, it won’t matter a bit if you can’t get your car started!
The cold will automatically put your battery under some strain. But if your battery is weak, you may end up stranded someplace. Make sure to get your battery tested by a professional who can let you know if you’ll need to replace it before the snow starts to fall!
Schedule Your Back to School Inspection Today!
As your student gets ready for another exciting school year, make sure their car is up for the task of taking them to class, trouble-free! Get in touch with Beck’s Auto Center in Lafayette Indiana to have our skilled technicians look over your student’s car from head to toe to make sure it’s ready for a new school year!