As winter approaches, it’s time to start thinking about the impact the seasonal change has on your vehicle’s performance. Whether you’re behind the wheel of a Silverado or a Cruze, there are a few basic preparations you can make now to ensure you’ll be ready to brave Michigan weather once the temps begin to drop.
Top Off Your Fluids
Air temperature affects all of the various fluids that are important components to healthy engine function. If it’s been awhile since your last oil change, go ahead and put that on your to-do list. Old oil thickens, and cold air further affects the oil’s viscosity, so having fresh clean oil that’s fully topped off is a great first step to winterizing your vehicle. While you’re at it, check other fluids like coolant, antifreeze, and wiper fluid, making sure are all properly filled.
Also important: when your vehicle’s fuel tank dips below half-full, fill up soon before you hit a quarter tank. If the weather causes you to lose your way, you may go further than planned on one tank of gas and could run out of fuel; or, if you become stranded, a full tank will provide warmth while you wait out the storm.
Cold Weather Gear
If your town tends to be particularly hard hit with snow, consider putting snow tires on your vehicle. Snow tires are designed to offer better traction, braking, and control on surfaces like snow and ice. Also be sure to monitor your tire’s air pressure and fill them if they are low. Cold air contracts and can make your tires under-inflated, which can lead to a blowout or other dangerous situations. Also consider installing new wiper blades on your windshield wipers. Winter blades are designed to help clear snow and ice while you are driving to ensure enhanced visibility. Additionally, be sure to have an ice scraper and/or brush handy to clear off windows and doors when starting up your vehicle after a snowfall or ice storm.
Have Your Vehicle Serviced
Other areas you might want to consider having inspected by a trained professional include your vehicle’s brakes, 4WD or AWD systems (if you have one), belts and hoses, and your heater and defroster. Additionally, have your battery tested to ensure it’s holding a charge appropriately, and look to see if it’s time to purchase a new one.
Be Prepared, Just in Case
Even if you’ve followed all of the above suggestions, unforeseen circumstances may still cause you trouble this winter. Should you become stranded or run into a distressing situation, the following items are good to have on hand should the need arise:
- Jumper cables, cell phone, cell phone charger
- Warm blanket, nonperishable food, bottled water
- Ice scraper, bag of sand, shovel, road flares
- Extra wiper fluid, motor oil, antifreeze, and coolant
Learn More at Bowman Chevrolet!
If you’re in need of help getting your current vehicle ready for the winter, or perhaps you’re considering a new truck or SUV to help you handle the ice roads, get in touch with the helpful staff at Bowman Chevrolet in Clarkston, MI!