Tips for Winterizing Your Car

Foreign car repair

As a routine part of import auto maintenance, it’s now well into that time of year when you should be concerned about winterizing your car. Whether you bring your car to a reliable local mechanic or go someplace that specializes in foreign car auto repair, making sure that your car is ready for the harsh weather ahead will add to its longevity and better ensure its performance through the winter months bringing you one step closer to being properly armed for falling temperatures and snow. Naturally, yield to what the import auto maintenance specialists recommend, but here’s a breakdown of the different areas you’ll want to consider:
Car Exterior
You’ll want to check windshield wiper blades and replace either of them if they streaks or are more than a year old. Consider using winter blades for tough ice buildups; they’re more expensive, but you’ll be happy to have them if you get caught out driving in challenging weather.
It’s best to keep your tank at least half full, which goes far to reduce the potential for moisture problems in the fuel system.
Check your tires for wearing, balding or issues with alignment. Check tire pressure continually throughout the season, at least once a month. Improperly inflated tires can reduce gripping when you need it the most. Old fashioned snow tires with chains might still be the best bet for consistent winter driving in locations where snow is falling regularly, but otherwise a good set of all-weathers with plenty of tread remaining should get you through. When in doubt, have them measure the depth of your treads. If shallow, it may be time for a new set (or rotation at the very least if you have front wheel drive).
Get an oil and filter change – it may not be time quite yet, but you may as well have it done while everything else is getting updated, etc.
Check to make sure all lights are fully functional. Winter tends to mean lower visibility and you want to be sure other drivers can see you. Also, you’ll want to wipe down your lights periodically through the season since salt and dirt buildup from messy roadways can cloud the beams.
Look for any cracks or fraying edges and change belts that show extensive signs of wear.
Replace worn pads for certain. Additionally, have your brakes professionally inspected so as to ensure immediate response in icy/slippery road conditions.
Under the Hood
Top off all fluids: battery fluids, engine coolants, brake fluids, power steering, radiator fluids and windshield washer fluid. Use a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water in the engine cooling system. Check your owner’s manual or antifreeze container for specifications. Use winter windshield washer antifreeze.
Spark plugs
Replace any that are worn or misfiring.
Decreased temperature can increase battery workload. If your car cranks slowly when started, have the battery checked and replace it if it’s over three years old. Clean any corrosion off the contacts. A battery will lose over 50% of its power when the temperature drops to zero degrees.
Import auto maintenance specialists will likely have a winterization package available that will bundle at least some of the costs for you. If your car is still under manufacturer warranty, you can bring it direct to the dealership (an Audi service center or Volkswagen service center, for example), but otherwise you’ll need to find an auto maintenance pro.

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