10 Tips for Winter Vehicle Maintenance - Beck's Auto Center
auto repair shop lafayette indiana winter maintenance tips

10 Tips for Winter Vehicle Maintenance

Driving in the winter can be treacherous and even dangerous if you aren’t prepared. Even if you’re careful, there are still many things that can go wrong with your vehicle, especially if you haven’t properly prepared it for the season. 

Beck’s Auto Center, an auto repair shop in Lafayette, Indiana, will teach you 10 tips on how to winterize your vehicle, so that you can make it through the season safely!

auto repair shop lafayette indiana winter maintenance tips

1) Test Tire Pressure

Maintaining proper tire pressure is an essential part of winter driving. Not only will it save you money at the pump, but it can also keep you safer on slippery roads.

Make sure to check your tires every time you fill-up with gas and replace them before they get too worn down.

If tire pressure is below 22psi, it should be inflated immediately to prevent unsafe driving conditions.

2) Clean Snow off your Car

When it comes to keeping your car in good working order, wintertime is no different than any other time of year. But since it’s such a busy season, many drivers forget about simple maintenance—and end up stranded on a snowy highway or byway. 
The first step toward winter-proofing your vehicle? Keep it clean. 
It sounds obvious (it’s kind of obvious), but you’d be surprised how often people overlook removing snow and ice from their vehicles before driving off.

For Safety’s Sake

Replace Your Windshield Wiper Blades Annually

3) Replace Wiper Blades

​​Replacing your windshield wiper blades once a year is an easy way to reduce winter driving risks. As you can imagine, it’s nearly impossible to see out of a wiperless window, which puts your vehicle at risk for slipping and sliding on snow and ice.

Winter weather can also obstruct your view of traffic lights in town—and if you’re not paying attention, you could miss a turn or run through a red light. Always replace your wipers before winter hits; even slightly worn ones should be replaced because they won’t clear away as much snow and ice as they should. Newer versions also clean water off faster than older models did, reducing visibility problems during winter rainstorms too. It may seem like a small task that takes only minutes to complete, but replacing wiper blades will make all the difference when it comes to safe winter driving.

4) Check Battery Charging System

Cold weather can damage your car battery and make it less effective at starting your car. You should have your vehicle’s charging system checked once a year, but checking it before winter begins is always a good idea—especially if you know that you’ll be putting additional strain on your battery (such as when driving up hills or towing heavy loads). If you find that your battery is damaged, get it replaced by an auto repair shop near you!

5) Add Stabilizer Fluid

If you plan to store your car for the winter, stabilizer fluid ensures your gasoline stays fresh. Make sure to check your vehicle’s owner’s manual before adding stabilizer fluid in the winter months. Adding stabilizer fluid when your vehicle is in long-term storage protects your fuel from deteriorating for up to 24 months. This means the fuel will not gum up the engine and will remain at full strength during the length of your car’s rest.

6) Change Oils and Lubricants

Proper lubrication is essential to running your car smoothly.

Make sure you change your oil according to the standards in your owner’s manual, and more often if you drive frequently or live in a particularly cold or hot climate. If you’re driving through snow, consider changing to a heavier weight motor oil that has better cold-weather performance. For proper vehicle maintenance during winter months, keep an eye on brake and tire wear as well.

oil change in lafayette indiana by auto repair shop

7) Pack Your Vehicle’s Spare Tire

Checking your vehicle’s spare tire and its jack is a crucial part of winter vehicle maintenance. Always make sure you have at least one spare tire onboard your vehicle in case a tire gets damaged by bad weather. Also, keep all tools required to access and install it—including a lug wrench and/or socket—in your trunk with it so you can replace a damaged tire.

8) Keep Tires Inflated to Recommended Levels

Keep your tires inflated to the recommended pressure on a regular basis—not just in winter. Under-inflated tires will wear out more quickly, and over-inflated tires can put too much strain on your engine and make it difficult to control your vehicle—especially in icy or snowy conditions!

9) Check Air Filter and Cabin Air Filter

One of your car’s most important safety features is also one you might not think about. The cabin air filter cleans up dust and other particles from inside your car, helping to reduce allergens and improve air quality, making it easier for you to breathe. If it gets dirty, your heater or air conditioner will stop working properly—which could be a matter of life or death if you get into an accident in cold weather.

Wintertime is the right time for a new cabin air filter!

10) Clear Clogged Exhaust System

If you’re having trouble starting your car in winter, it could be because of a clogged exhaust system.

The cold weather can cause condensation to build up in your vehicle’s muffler; if that gets clogged with leaves and other debris, your car won’t start.

That’s why it’s important to clear any blockages before winter rolls around. 

Need Help with Your Vehicle this Winter?

If you would like your vehicle inspected before hitting the winter roads this season, Beck’s Auto Center in Lafayette, Indiana, is the place to go! By performing auto maintenance and having only the best, certified staff on hand, Beck’s ensures your car is always in tip-top shape! 

Call (765) 447-9459 or submit a dropoff form to get started! 

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