Michiganders tend to love the seasons and the changes that each season brings. This time of year, you may be looking for the best weekend to take a color tour. Beyond that, you might think about snow tires, window scrapers, and a warm pair of driving gloves. Here are some car care tips to get you safely through another Michigan winter.
Choosing the right winter tires
Most of the research on winter tires focuses on tread patterns. In the United States, the three most popular winter tire tread patterns are low profile, all season, and all-terrain. In most years, almost all cars qualify for at least one of these tread patterns. The only exception is that all-terrain tires are not the best option for cold temperatures and snow. If your tread is wearing thin, you’ll definitely want to get them replaced for better traction and safety.
Having your car checked for safety
If you see any issues with your car before it starts to snow, the cost and possible repair costs can be significantly reduced. You can avoid engine fluids freezing, windshields cracking, and other issues. Your service provider will check for any rust, a burned-out head gasket, and other problems that will cause your car to start to give you problems. Check with your mechanic for a list of their services or other best practices.
Prepare for winter by checking your oil and fluids
Always check your fluids in the winter. Every car on the road should be full of oil. It is good practice to check your oil when you fill up your gas tank. You should also check your wiper fluid, power steering, transmission, and antifreeze level. You can check your tire pressure at most auto parts stores or purchase a tire gauge for a few dollars. Make sure that you keep the tire pressure near what the manufacturers suggest.
Winterize your car with the right fix
In the harsh Michigan winters, many cars are not equipped to deal with the extreme temperatures. No one wants to get stuck in the snow with the temperature dropping. The easiest way to ensure your car is ready for the winter is to ensure all of your car’s equipment is in good working order. Winter storms bring out salt trucks that will wreak havoc on your vehicle, and driving through snow and ice can cause existing problems to worsen more quickly than anticipated. Be sure to handle any issues early.
Keep your car clean and remove snow from under it
The steps you take now can make a big difference in how your car holds up during the harsh Michigan winters. Always have a shovel, scraper, and snow brush in your trunk. You should also check your windshield wipers. If they are not replaced regularly, and you get regular rain, you need to replace your wipers for the winter months.
Keeping a well-stocked emergency kit in your car is always a good idea. Since colder weather creates different needs than warmer weather, it’s time to update what items are in your emergency kit.
Stay on top of that list of maintenance items
Having a vehicle maintenance checklist is a great way to maintain your car for the long term. If you are taking your car in for an oil change or to get a new set of wheels, make sure you check off each task as you have it done. You can save yourself time and money in the long run. You should also check your tires when they are overdue for proper inflation. Check your battery regularly. Get your vehicle gassed up for winter conditions. Make sure you are prepared for inclement weather and still get to work in one piece. Keep your car ready and in tip-top shape by keeping it clean and filled with gas. Winter weather can be a harsh time for your vehicle; treat it kindly.