We know, we know…this October has had its fair share of 80 degree plus days, but being in North Carolina we know that you know that it’s only a matter of time before that changes. And it’s usual that the first frost is out of nowhere! Because of our fickle weather here, you have to prepare ahead of time so that you aren’t caught off-guard when Mother Nature makes its cold weather debut this Fall. Read on below for a few tips to winterize your vehicle now.
Check Your Tire Pressure
Most of us have all-weather tires in this state. Because of that, we don’t need snow tires or anything quite so drastic as that, but we do need to make sure our pressure is good this time of year. Deflated tires close up the tread and decrease traction, which increases the possibility of sliding etc. Check your owner’s manual to see the suggested pounds per square inch.
Check Your Battery
The average car battery lasts 3-5 years, so it’s best to be aware of how old yours is. Colder months are harder on your car’s engine because it has to work harder, which puts more pressure on the battery. Bonus: batteries are often on sale in the fall, so this is a good time to get it checked and replaced.
Even if it’s not old, take the time to check the battery cables and clamps for any fraying and/or corrosion. If you see white, powdery substances around the clamp, that’s corrosion from battery acid. It’s easily cleanable and not a huge cause for concern. Just let us clean it up for you!
Check Your Oil
Oil is lubricant, plain and simple. It stops your engine parts from grinding together. The thickness of your oil (viscosity) greatly affects the engine’s performance. If it’s too thick, the oil will flow too slow. Cold temperatures cause oil to thicken, so that’s a consideration as you choose which oil to put in your car. If in doubt, we can always advise you on what you need, depending on the season.
Antifreeze protects your engine from freezing and heating up on hot days as well as cutting back on corrosion. You need equal parts antifreeze and water in your radiator for it to function properly. For this reason, stores carry a pre-mix that is the correct 50:50 ratio. If you’re not correct with your ratio, you can literally blow a gasket and that cost can be expensive. Better to just keep it correct!
Check Your Defrosting and Heating Units
Defrost keeps you safe because it ensures visibility, so it’s important to make sure this system is working properly. And no one wants to crank on the heat for the first time and find out that it doesn’t work! Figure out now if you have a faulty heat coil, before you need it.
Replace Windshield Wipers and Wiper Fluid
We know none of you are those people who have rubber flapping around on your windshield when it’s raining and water smearing into channels on the glass when you’re trying to see, right? If you begin to hear scraping, you already know that it’s time to change the wiper blades, because they can warp, crack, split and deteriorate. They should be replaced every 6 months to a year. Keeping your wiper fluid full can assist in breaking up ice on the windshield on a cold day, so make sure you have plenty of fluid now as well.
Make Sure Your 4-Wheel Drive Works
Chances are, most of you that have 4-Wheel Drive don’t use it during the summer. Before winter starts, it’s critical to make sure it all works before you need it to improve traction on snow or in ice.
Keep an Emergency Kit Inside Your Car
We saved the simplest tip for last. The easiest way to combat cold weather is to keep a few essential supplies with you all the time in your car. You’ll always want a spare tire and the knowledge on how to change one. If you don’t know, simply tell us and we can teach you! Keep some bottled water on hand as well, some gloves, a blanket, and an extra coat. Flashlights and flares are helpful too if you get stuck. And make sure you have an ice scraper, some engine oil, and some coolant as well. The last thing is your own set of jumper cables so that if you need a jump, you don’t also have to borrow the cables! If you need instruction on how to use jumper cables, we can show you how as well. Just ask.
We’re always happy to educate our customers in order to keep them safe. Make an appointment to come down to the shop, and we’ll make sure your car is good-to-go for the cold weather! Just call (910) 483-2958
Fall is the Season for Husqvarna!
We can’t say enough good about this wonderful line. We only carry items that we stand behind and believe are of the highest quality. That’s why there’s Husqvarna in our shop, plain and simple. Check out all that we have on hand right now:
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Crumpler’s Automotive is located at 7611 Clinton Road, Stedman, NC