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We are in the full swing of fall and the temperatures are dropping! Pretty soon, the Sierra Nevadas will be covered in snow and we will have frequent rainy days. It is especially important to make sure your car is fully prepared for the season change, for both your safety and the functionality of the vehicle. But, rest assured by following Five Star’s winterization checklist you will be ready. Brace yourselves… Winter is coming!
Five Star’s Ultimate Checklist to Winterize Your Car
- Tire Tread & Pressure
You should check the quality and life of the tire to verify that there is still traction and stability left in your tires after use. There are several popular ways to check your tire tread depth. One easy way is the penny test. Simply insert a penny into your tire’s tread groove with Lincoln’s head upside down and facing you. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, your tread depth is less than 2/32 inch and it’s time to replace your tires.
In addition, it is important to maintain the proper pressure for your tires and vehicle. Every 10 degree change in ambient temperature could mean a gain or loss of 1 PSI, so check often!
Verify the life of your vehicle’s coolant. It is important to keep coolant changed regularly, since as it ages the pH of the coolant can become more acidic over time. This can cause damage and erode parts of the engine. This should be something that is checked with regular oil changes and is included in Five Star’s 29 Point Inspection.
- Windshield wipers
Turn on your windshield wipers to make sure they properly clear rain and debris away. They should run along your windshield without leaving any streaks. Wipers can get dried and cracked during the summer months – don’t wait until the season’s first rain (like you know everyone else will) to get new ones!
- Washer Fluid
When driving up to the mountains or throughout the Sacramento Valley, you may use a lot of washer fluid in effort to keep your windshield free of water, ice, and that always present road dirt. Keep a spare bottle of washer fluid in your trunk and the reservoir nearly full.
Checking the health of your brakes is something you should do on a consistent basis, but especially for the winter months. Rain, mud and snow can impact stopping distance considerably. Having properly working brakes will help if you have to make a sudden stop in bad weather. Check out our brake special today for a great deal!
Check your battery to make sure it is charging properly! You don’t want to get stuck in bad weather and dealing with a dead battery, calling for a tow or a quick jump. Fully charged automotive batteries should measure at 12.6 volts or above at rest. If you don’t have a multimeter to tell you the voltage of your battery, you guessed it, you can stop by your local Five Star shop or ask the technician to check during your next maintenance appointment.
- Winter Safety Kit
You should pack a winter safety kit and keep it in your car for the season, to ensure you are fully prepared for anything from bad weather to traffic due to road closures. Your winter safety kit should include: ice scraper, shovel, extra phone charger, flares, first aid kit, antifreeze, flashlight and batteries, car tool kit, jumper cables, blanket, non-perishable food, water bottles and a pack of matches. Keep it handy and accessible in case of emergencies.
- Car Wash
Continue with regular washes throughout the winter! Although most do not want to have to pay for a wash when it is raining and storming, we guarantee doing this will prevent scratches and damage to your car’s exterior. The sand and dirt that builds up in the roads during the winter can not only leave a film no the car, but can easily scratch the paint as well.
Keep a look out for our winter specials for a Fast Pass Unlimited Wash membership, coming soon!
And Our Experts’ Super-Secret Winter Tip!
- Scotchgard Seats and Floors!
Come on in and have our team at Five Star Scotchgard your seats and interior carpets! This will ensure your interior will stay clean during the winter. When you pass through a puddle on the way to your car and pull in mud and leaves, Scotch Guard ensures these messes are easy to wipe away. Although the price may be a little higher than a normal handwash, this is comparatively lower than having to replace carpets or purchase seat covers. Make an appointment today.
Following this winterization checklist will keep your car in the best condition for winter’s rain and snow, so you can enjoy the holidays and mountain activities without being concerned about any maintenance or safety issues. Schedule an appointment or visit Five Star Auto Center for detail or repair to help winterize your car today!