Ensure Your Vehicle is Winter-Weather Ready No Matter Where You Live or Drive

by Rich Ellis

The change in seasons is the perfect time to ensure your vehicle is ready for holiday road trips and winter travel. Regardless of whether you expect to encounter snow and cold or sun and rain, here are five steps you can take now to make your driving experience less stressful and your vehicle more reliable.

Battery test: Batteries don’t last forever, and when they do fail, it’s usually at the worst possible time. Your technician can perform an electronic battery test that will indicate whether the battery is weak and in danger of failing and should be replaced, or whether it is still performing at full strength.

Windshield treatment: Safe driving depends on unobstructed vision, and that begins with windshield clarity in all types of weather and driving conditions. 

To maintain or restore windshield clarity: 

  • Clean the windshield inside and out.
  • Use products designed specifically to improve clarity.  Apply water repellant to the windshield’s surface or add a bug remover or deicing fluid to the windshield washer fluid tank. 
  • Replace the windshield wipers every six months.

Headlights:  Winter days and nights are darker longer. If your vehicle’s headlight bulbs are a few years old, look into having them replaced. Bulbs can produce less light over time, and there’s new lighting technology that emits whiter, brighter light to help you see further down the road. If the headlights’ plastic covers are cloudy or discolored due to the elements, have them repaired or replaced so that more of that light can reach the road.

Mechanical Inspection:  Have your vehicle thoroughly inspected.  This is particularly important if the check engine light is illuminated or has been turning off and on periodically. 

Preventive maintenance:  Follow the maintenance schedule recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. 

You depend on your vehicle and expect it to be reliable, delivering years and miles of trouble-free performance. Help it do so while protecting your investment by staying on top of maintenance, and addressing what may seem like minor mechanical concerns before they have a chance to become larger problems. 

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