Winter driving in our part of Indiana presents a number of challenges each year. Freezing rain, snow, sleet and frigid temperatures can cause our vehicles to not start or be more prone to being in an accident.
Being proactive and getting your vehicle ready for winter now will ensure it is safe, reliable, and will have fewer unexpected repairs when severe winter weather strikes.
8 Tips to Keep You on the Road this Winter
- Experiencing hard starts, rough idling or stalling? Have these looked into now. Cold weather only makes existing engine problems worse. Don’t forget to replace dirty air, fuel and PCV filters.
- Inspect the vehicle’s cabin air filter. This filter traps outside debris from entering the HVAC system and can, if dirty, prevent proper air flow. Also check to see if the HVAC control switches and blower work in all positions and at all speeds.
- Make sure your air conditioning system is operating properly (yes, even during the winter months). In the defrost mode the AC compressor should engage and any moisture in the air removed. This will eliminate moisture build up on the inside of your front windshield.
- The level and concentration of your engine coolant should be checked. A 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water is normally recommended. While you are at it, don’t forget to check the belts, clamps and hoses for wear and tightness.
- Replace old windshield wiper blades and stock up on windshield wiper solvent. We all know what it is like to try to look out a dirty, streaked windshield when it is snowing, sleeting or raining heavily. It‘s no fun and can lead to accidents.
- Extremely cold weather can take its toll on batteries. Unless you take your vehicle in to have the battery tested, there is no easy way to determine the condition of your battery. If your battery is over three years old, you may want to have it checked by an auto technician. You can scrape away corrosion from the posts and cables and make sure the connections are tight.
- Worn tires will be of little use in winter weather. Examine your tires for adequate tread depth and uneven wear. Rotate your tires as recommended and make sure your spare and jack are in good condition.
- “Be prepared” is important advice when traveling during the winter months. Carry gloves, boots, blankets, flares, ice scrapper, a small shovel, some sand (or kitty litter), a flashlight and a cell phone. Having these items available in your vehicle in case of an emergency will give you the ability to help yourself or get help if needed.
Dependable, Safe and Worry-Free Winter Driving
Most of us don’t have the option to not drive in cold or inclement winter weather. So it is important that your vehicle be dependable and safe as you travel during the winter months.
Take the time now to have your vehicle checked out and enjoy a season of worry-free winter driving.